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Chris Matthews Talks to Prop 8 Challenger Ted Olson About Obama's Gay Marriage Endorsement: VIDEO

Olson

Attorney Ted Olson, who's leading the federal case challenging Proposition 8, joined Chris Matthews and Freedom to Marry's Evan Wolfson on Hardball last night to discuss Obama's same-sex marriage endorsement.

Asks Matthews: how long will it take to get the entire country covered by equality?

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. If Chris Matthews is on our side, why on earth does he give so much airtime to Tony Perkins?

    Posted by: Sylvatica | May 12, 2012 2:18:02 AM


  2. Obama "Personally" Believes that Same-sex Couples Should Be Able to Marry -- but, Only If the Mob Approves...

    Well, technically, Obama’s stance is pretty much like that of the current Republican Gov. of New Jersey. Obama believes that (unlike his parents’ interracial marriage) that “the states should decide” if millions of GLBT Americans can past the popularity contest enough to secure their equal rights. That should really please those people pushing to amend their state constitutions to exclude us. It should also negate the arguments on our side for overturning Prop 8 in California. A stupid, really stupid thing for Obama to needlessly add to his “declaration” of half-assed support.

    Fortunately, President Eisenhower (in the 1950s) and President Johnson (mid 1960s) weren’t like President Obama or we’d probably still have segregated schools and lunch-counters in the South. You don’t leave civil rights up to the mob to decide.

    Obama just can’t open his mouth without some kind of stupid dropping out of it. He should have just left it at “I support marriage equality” without adding…well, if the mob decides it is OK with them.

    He better clarify soon. Already, people are starting to see his “great endorsement” as less than genuine. He substituted “god’s in the mix” with …the “mob should be in the mix”.

    It's very sad that one of our own (Rep. Tammy Balwin), can be so willfully ignorant as well. How loathsome.

    Posted by: Rainfish2000 | May 12, 2012 2:26:41 AM


  3. While there are issues with deportation and immigration, Federal employees (including armed forces), and Federal taxation this can never be just a state-by-state issue.

    Posted by: MikeW | May 12, 2012 6:13:13 AM


  4. It never ceases to amaze me that some really intelligent people will do and say some of the stupidest things with respect to gay rights. It's as if the merry-go-round of excuses has addled their ability to think clearly. To have Republican opposition has come to be expected but to have our 'fierce' advocate state that my civil rights should be left up to the voting whim of local mob rule sickens me to the core.
    I expected netter. I dared hope.

    Posted by: JONES | May 12, 2012 9:18:11 AM


  5. @rainfish2000, @jones: You forget that Obama can do nothing on his own dealing with a Republican Party with a scorched earth policy and a Democratic Party that isn't sure if it's behind a Democratic president.

    It's like being the King on a chessboard where all of the other pieces are off playing a different game entirely.

    Please "dare hope" that any other significant players make _any_ concessions in the next year and remind us all when that happens.

    Posted by: MikeW | May 12, 2012 9:43:56 AM


  6. @Mikew: You seriously believe that the president can do nothing at all? That the president of the United States is completely powerless? Granted, he can't make marriage equality happen on his own. But if he's serious about it, there's a lot he could do. Propose laws. Rewrite federal regulations. Change federal enforcement policies. And a lot more. But all Obama does on ANY issue he claims to care about is make pretty feel-good speeches. Let's just hope his commitment to marriage equality, feeble as it is, is more substantial and longer-lasting than his commitment to single payer.

    Posted by: jomicur | May 12, 2012 10:45:31 AM


  7. Leaving marriage to the states has allowed several states, including my own, to establish in-state marriage equality which, in turn, has furthered the national debate and has inspired the court cases that are most likely to win us national marriage equality. So the state approach works both for us and against us.

    President Obama's personal statement in favor of marriage equality holds huge symbolic weight. Comparisons to Gov. Slob of NJ are ridiculous. And Pres. Obama does not support taking away rights via ballot initiatives, so, no, he does not support Prop 8 or Amendment 1.

    Yes, he could have spoken more forcefully about how his parents' marriage would have been prohibited in some states as late as 1967 if the state-by-state approach was adhered to without interference from Court rulings, but we all know that the most likely path to equality will be through the dismantling of DOMA (which Obama's DOJ has been working towards, as Republican leaders try to sabotage the administration's abilities to fight DOMA) and through a SC decision.

    Ted Olson, a Republican, fully recognizes the importance of Obama's statement, even as he disagrees with the state-by-state approach. (Which, Obama knows is not how equality will happen.) The contrast is between a President who personally supports our equality and a candidate who not only doesn't support our equality but supports a constitutional amendment to undo the marriages of many 1000s of same-sex couples, marriages allowed by leaving marriage to the states and not solely to the federal government.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 12, 2012 11:06:17 AM


  8. @Jomicur: AS others with more significant legal and legislative background have pointed out many times, anything the President with purely executive powers can be undone just as easily. Getting the legislative and judiciary moved over ensures a more long-lived and less divisive result.

    Posted by: MikeW | May 12, 2012 2:48:05 PM


  9. Ernie, I'm curious as to why you think a Supreme Court decision is how marriage equality will come to all of America. Why wouldn't the states get marriage equality, one by one - with some states voting it in through legislatures and some having state supreme courts decide it, and othesr (in time) having plebiscites to vote it in? This is probably not the quickest way to get marriage equality nationally, but it's the way most likely to insure social peace and solidify a national pro-marriage equality majority (say, into a solid 60-65% majority).

    The all-at-once-through-the-Supreme-Court method could boomerang and cause the gay rights movement a setback. If you think history is on your side, why not be patient and let the issue play itself out?

    Posted by: mary | May 12, 2012 3:35:40 PM


  10. @Mary: History is on our side, and so is the Constitution. Legislative progress, as in my state where any backlash against equality was short-lived and now is dead as sane people realize equality harms no one but bigots, has helped pave the way, but as Loving v. Virginia showed, justice is usually ahead of history since bigotry is is firmly entrenched in certain states.

    Civil rights progress is never won by patience, and when all rational arguments are on your side, there is no need to be patient. Besides, life is short, those who sit on the sidelines and wait, die without rights.

    BTW, though I think federal equality is most likely via a Court decision, I'm a firm advocate of also moving forward in the states. It just happens that the work in my state is done, so we are focused on the most efficient way to federal equality, and someone like Ted Olson is a good bet.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 12, 2012 5:09:09 PM


  11. All I know is that for me and my husband, we're running out of time. I'm 58,he's 62 and if I die first, I want him to have my federal benefits from being a retired fed. Will we live long enough to see this? Certainly in my state of PA, it will never happen on its own. This has to be decided by the SCOTUS.

    Posted by: John Simpson | May 13, 2012 2:26:23 PM


  12. Good lord, what do you people expect? In just four years we have seen gays in the military, serious progress on ENDA and now this. Attitudes toward gay marriage have rocketed forward faster than women's right to vote, or the civil rights movement by a LOOONG shot. Got news for you- there's a lot of pluribus in this unum and we can't just snap our fingers and get our way. Carping against our main ally only strengthens his foe, who is an evil, evil man that would set us back a decade in a heartbeat. Ante up and send Obama fifty bucks and HRC a hundred if you're in such a hurry.

    Posted by: Rob | May 14, 2012 5:45:11 AM


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