Monthly Archives: May 2012

Little Bobby Marshall’s temper tantrum

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun

My initial reaction to hearing about Bob Marshall’s highly unusual actions to cause the rejection of Tracy Thorne-Begland’s nomination to the General District Court was “petulant temper tantrum.” The latest admission from Marshall shows just how accurate that first impression was:

“He holds himself out as being married,” said Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William), who is running for U.S. Senate. He said Thorne-Begland’s “life is a contradiction to the requirement of submission to the constitution.”

It’s not good enough, you see, that Thorne-Begland’s marriage is not recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Nor is it good enough that he and his husband can’t even obtain recognition of a civil union, domestic partnership, or any other “legal status that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage” or obtain a status to which are assigned “the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage.

No, that’s not enough. Like Haman, little Bobby Marshall wants Tracy Thorne-Begland to bow down. Because Bobby Marshall was able to insert his tiny god of fear into the Virginia Constitution, he now believes he is entitled to demand “submission” to it. Those who fail to bow down to his little god must be punished. That is just how stark this is.

Continue reading

Baby wants a creche!

Goodness gracious, this board may just turn out to be the most corrupt in recent history. The hilarity continues to escalate (assuming that you find the deliberate incitement of costly taxpayer-funded lawsuits hilarious).

After last month’s highly entertaining meeting of the Courthouse Grounds and Facilities Committee (reported here), in which the chairman admitted both to having consulted with “preeminent constitutional lawyer” Mike Farris and that the proposed inclusion of a menorah was only to provide “top cover” for the sole objective of a county-sponsored creche, this month’s meeting featured ejecting a reporter and members of the public from the room. The reporter was told that although the committee has no authority to make policy, and is not facing litigation, they had to be in “closed session” because they were receiving legal advice.

Continue reading

Delusional, or immoral?

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun

You might have seen a video that went viral over the weekend – five minutes of some of the most bizarre claptrap about gay people you are ever likely to hear, delivered by a speaker at a city council public meeting. I say “some of” because much of it could easily have come from certain public figures, or from one or two speakers addressing local public boards here in Loudoun.

Well, it turns out that the speaker in the video is a “protected person,” a resident of an assisted living facility and diagnosed with schizophrenia. She is a regular at these public meetings; the council members are familiar with her and listen to her politely. Her brother Patrick acts as her conservator:

He said he’s disappointed the video garnered such attention and jokes without the whole story.

“To me, it shows how little society really cares about people with mental health issues,” Patrick Svoboda said. “She does have a very tender heart … but anything she says is certifiably schizophrenic … she’s not some crazy conservative.”

He said her family has tried to get her help multiple times, but unless she harms herself or others, there’s not much more they can do.

Continue reading

The most significant event for equality in recent memory – and it wasn’t the president’s endorsement of marriage

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun

Before somebody starts yelling at me, let me just say that I’m not diminishing the significance of President Obama’s historic endorsement. It matters. A lot. Go read Andrew Sullivan’s cover essay in this week’s Newsweek for a good summary. “To have the president of the United States affirm my humanity —and the humanity of all gay Americans — was, unexpectedly, a watershed. He shifted the mainstream in one interview.”

But, as a measure of how far the mainstream has actually shifted, nothing beats this much less reported, but must-read document. As Sullivan points out, this is the GOP establishment addressing, bluntly, the GOP establishment. The warning from “highly respected Republican pollster” Jan van Lohuizen really couldn’t be more factual and dispassionate about the situation they are now facing:

In view of this week’s news on the same sex marriage issue, here is a summary of recent survey findings on same sex marriage:

1. Support for same sex marriage has been growing and in the last few years support has grown at an accelerated rate with no sign of slowing down. A review of public polling shows that up to 2009 support for gay marriage increased at a rate of 1% a year. Starting in 2010 the change in the level of support accelerated to 5% a year. The most recent public polling shows supporters of gay marriage outnumber opponents by a margin of roughly 10% (for instance: NBC / WSJ poll in February / March: support 49%, oppose 40%).

And this is what that looks like graphically:

Continue reading

Links for May 10. Ten full days of reading material.

These come from my twitter, face book, and blog roll feeds.

Lots of links on North Carolina, and on Romney’s and Obama’s very different attitudes towards LGBT folks.:

Reproductive rights (and War on Women generally):

Hunger/Food Safety:




Virginia, oh Virginia:

And finally, on Maurice Sendak: