Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Amendment Appears to be DOA

The people at DU tracked down all the responses and their aren't enough votes in the Senate to pass it.

...Oxblog has another tally.

...Signorile has a good column in TAP:

So here we are. And actually, it feels better in a weird way -- more honest. Gay Republicans have suddenly stopped spinning in their dervishes of denial, at least momentarily. Groups like the Log Cabin Republicans deluded themselves for more than three years, backing Bush even as he promoted abstinence-only programs at the expense of AIDS-education ones that work, supported Senator Rick Santorum after the Pennsylvania Republican's vile statements about gays, and pushed hard for discriminatory faith-based programs. They stood by him -- making an occasional tepid criticism, but still backing him -- as Bush nominated individuals like Alabama Attorney General William Pryor, who compared homosexuality to "necrophilia" and fought against repealing sodomy laws. (Last weekend, in another slap, Bush brazenly installed Pryor in a recess appointment after the guy had been filibustered by the Democrats because of his extremism.)

After three years of calling Bush's critics members of a traitorous "fifth column," you have to admit that it's rather delicious seeing Andrew Sullivan deciding that Bush has declared "war" on him, and admitting, "I guess I really was naive."

In this way, I feel bizarrely thankful to Bush for finally drawing the battle lines more clearly so that apologists like Sullivan can't deny any longer the sham of "compassionate conservatism."

Risking the loss of the apologists -- and perhaps many independents, moderate Republicans, and some Democrats -- couldn't have been an easy decision for the Bush camp. Karl Rove is hoping that the Christian right's devotion and turnout will now outweigh anything that counteracts it. But he shouldn't be so sure. For gays and lesbians, this amendment is equivalent to the Stonewall Rebellion, to Anita Bryant's crusade, and to the government's negligence at the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, at least in terms of enraging people and moving them to action.

Already there have been rallies in the streets of Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, and more are on the way. And the alliances that have been built among gays and the larger progressive movement today can't be underestimated. It was gays and young progressives of every stripe, after all, who catapulted Howard Dean and now need a place to funnel their energy. And for many progressives the marriage amendment is less about same-sex marriage than about government control and the reshaping of the laws of our country-- a further extension of the USA PATRIOT Act and projects like Total Information Awareness.