Monday, October 27, 2008

Barney Tweaks the Twit on Marriage


Reversing their political positions, Earl Sholley is left and Barney Frank is right here. Their marriage-equality posts were plainly occupied Sunday when they debated in Wellesley.

The best coverage was in PolitickerMA. While ostensibly the three-way debate (Dem. Frank, GOP Sholley and Ind. Susan Allen, all on ballot) was about big issues, same-sex marriage provided the pop and snap.

Of course, they got to bailout differences and Allen centers on the gutlessness of Congress in not confronting the Bush administration on illegal wars, wiretapping and the like. Near the end of their hour though, the moderator asked about SSM.

I'm sorry I was not there for the theatre. Sholley unabashedly holds 19th Century positions couched in current winger terms. Frank is as strong a supporter of GLBT issues, including marriage equality. Allen turns out to go with Frank on this topic, although she has not campaigned on any related planks.

Apparently, she didn't join in the fight. She simply said, "I am pro choice when it comes to marriage. Each person has a right to marry whomever they most dearly love."

In contrast, Sholley:
  • Believes that "having gay marriage diminishes the value of the instituteion of marriage...a sacred pact between a man and a woman and it is so ordained by God."
  • States that SSM "isn't a civil rights issue."
  • Claims that homosexuality is a choice.
  • Said, "There is no gay gene."
He apparently let it out, including, "In fact, there is a lot of evidence to indicate...I believe that it's obsessive compulsive behavior it's been estimated that 80% of homosexuals were sexually abused as children. I think we should be helping these people."

For his part, Frank elicited audience cheers by calling the gay-by-abuse canard "nonexistent." He also pointed out the obvious about our years of SSM here not harming marriage at all.

Sholley had brought the frequent chant of anti-SSM types that commonwealth voters had been denied the chance to be heard on the issue. As PolitckerMA quotes Frank's response:

As far as putting the issue to a vote, Frank noted that in both the 2004 and 2006 Massachusetts statewide elections, gay marriage was a central issue on which every candidate was asked to take a side. And, Frank said, Bay State voters elected a legislature "that voted by about 77 percent in favor of same-sex marriage."

"I believe the voters do know what they are doing and I believe the voters showed their choice," he said.

A quick Net tour of Sholley citations shows his political roots and tracks. He does not fear running against established lefties. For example, he got his hat handed to him in 2000 and 2002 by state Sen. Cheryl Jacques.

In those races, he fired the full range of winger weapons, from tax-and-spend liberal to feminist agenda. He wasn't even subtle about his anti-gay angle on the openly out Jacques. "Many people don't like her lifestyle choice. She came out of the closet almost flaunting it and saying this is who I am and if you don't like it, then too bad. Her whole attitude is that she thinks that women are superior to men. This is problematic when raising children. She thinks that she can be a father and she can raise two boys and they don't have to know how they originated and who their father was. How is that going to make them feel when they get to the age of reason?"

He also divorced and became active in The Fatherhood Coalition. Men are screwed over by courts, and like that. As spokesman for the group, he seemed willing to blame a man murdering his wife and severely injuring their two daughters on not getting custody of the kids.

Nowadays, he's big on state and federal DOMA (one-man/one-woman marriage) laws. He uses MassResistance-style phrases to describe the Goodridge decision — "The judges who gave us gay marriage should be in jail or impeached at the very least. It is not their job to make law from the bench. " He has similar sentiments for the General Court — The vote "to deny the People the right to vote (reverse SSM by initiative) was elitist, arrogant, and tyrannical. It was a disgrace and a sham... most of the legislature should be voted out of office. "

When they confronted each other on SSM in Wellesley, Sholley had the disadvantage of speaking from emotion and counter to the evidence. For his part, Frank stated the obvious, "Same-sex marriage is of no concern to anyone who does not choose to enter into one."


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