In January of 2011, the Dallas Morning News made waves by announcing that it would not publish same-sex marriage announcements because same-sex marriage remains unrecognized in Texas. It was six months before public outrage forced the paper to change their policy.
Today, about two years on, the paper made another big announcement: they're endorsing marriage equality.
Same-sex marriage has been percolating at the state level for several years, leading to a patchwork of laws that create more confusion than clarity. The court can undo that confusion by determining the constitutional parameters of this issue.
We urge the Supreme Court to affirm the right of gay couples to marry based upon the fundamental American ideal of equality before the law. It is critical that the court also make clear that such a ruling won’t require churches whose doctrines oppose same-sex marriage to perform such ceremonies.
The paper's editorial also highlights the broadsheet's own support for inclusion - they opposed a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage and support non-discrimination policies in their workplace - and concludes, "What’s at stake before the Supreme Court is how a secular society should respond to the growing demand for same-sex marriage."
Though The Netherlands approved marriage equality in 2001, they gave their various island municipalities more time to overcome local opposition. One of those islands, Saba, managed to do just that: officials held their first same-sex marriage there earlier this month, and it seems more are on the way.
From the Washington Post:
A speck of an island in the Dutch Caribbean has become increasingly popular with gay couples after legislators legalized same-sex marriages in a region still openly hostile to gays and lesbians.
Two men were recently married in Saba, marking the first ceremony of its kind in the region and setting off a frenzy of calls from gay couples in other Dutch Caribbean islands seeking to marry, said Julietta Woods with Saba’s Civil Registry office.”People keep calling me every second,” she said by telephone this week.
While Saba currently stands alone in approving same-sex marriages, Bonaire and St. Eustatius are expected to follow.
The other Dutch Caribbean islands of St. Maarten, Curacao and Aruba have to recognize same-sex marriages but don’t have to legalize them because they have a more autonomous relationship with the Netherlands.
The paper reports France's Caribbean holdings Martinique and Guadeloupe are going to debate the matter as French authorities lay the groundwork for equality there.
Mike Huckabee, the former Republican Arkansas governor who lost his 2008 presidential bid so he became a Fox News pundit instead, played a little game of right-wing "blame the victim" yesterday when he flat out said that a lack of religion in schools led to the horrific shooting deaths of 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut.
"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?" he said on, yes, Fox News.
He went on, "[W]e've made it a place where we don't want to talk about eternity, life, what responsibility means, accountability -- that we're not just going to have be accountable to the police if they catch us, but one day we stand before, you know, a holy God in judgment… If we don't believe that, then we don't fear that."
Huckabee's argument is a not-so-distant cousin from that of anti-gay, evangelical radio host Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. He suggested said yesterday that the kids killed didn't have sufficient belief in God: "God is not going to go where he is not wanted."
This is a particularly insidious brand of "blame of the victim" messaging, one that's also particularly confusing: conservatives are known to blame disasters like Hurricane Sandy on the gays, as if our hedonistic, heathen ways unleash doom and destruction, known in right-wing Christian circles as God's Wrath, onto the population at large, even God-fearing citizens. Our mere presence threatens civilization because it's an affront, and those who accept us are asking for it by turning their back on God.
And here we have roughly the same argument being used to explain the deaths of nearly two dozen innocent children who could have no deep understanding of religion, faith or a creator.
You're damned if you do believe, you're damned if you don't, and you're even damned if you're too young to know what "religion" even means - according to Huckabee and his ilk, at least.
Watch video of Huckabee's comment AFTER THE JUMP.
(Video via TPM)