Saturday, January 24, 2015

California Judges Barred from Boy Scouts

It has been common for quite some time for state and local judges to resign memberships from discriminatory organizations - e.g., one former law partner almost left a club that barred blacks when he was named to a federal court seat until the club changed its policy - on the theory that a judge cannot be seen as unbiased in court cases if he/she belongs to a club or organization that discriminates against blacks, those who are Jewish and more recently gays.  Now, the California Supreme Court has ruled that California state judges cannot belong to the Boys Scouts due to the organization's continued anti-gay policies.  Here are highlights from the San Francisco Chronicle:

The state Supreme Court has voted to prohibit judges in California from belonging to the Boy Scouts because the 2.7 million-member youth organization bars gays and lesbians from becoming troop leaders.

The court announced Friday that its seven justices had voted unanimously to accept a February 2014 recommendation from its ethics advisory committee to ban Boy Scout membership. As of Wednesday, judges affiliated with the Scouts were in violation of the state Code of Judicial Ethics, which the court oversees, and could face removal from office.

California has been among 23 states with an ethical code that prohibits judges from belonging to organizations that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
“The people of California have a right to an impartial and unbiased judiciary,” Richard Fybel, a state appeals court justice in Santa Ana and chairman of the high court’s ethics advisory committee, said Friday. “This is important to accomplishing that.”

[T]he California Judges Association, which represents 1,575 of the state’s 2,000 judges, supported the ban.

The new rules would still allow judges to belong to religious organizations whose beliefs or practices were discriminatory. Many Boy Scout troops are affiliated with churches, and Fybel, the committee chairman, said some judges have argued that their troop was a religious organization that should remain exempted.

The Boy Scouts could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

The Boy Scouts also ban atheists and agnostics as members. California’s judicial ethics code forbids membership in organizations that discriminate based on religion, among other categories, but has not applied it to the Scouts in the past because of the exemption for nonprofit youth groups.

Other State Supreme courts should follow suit, but don't expect any such action from Virginia Supreme Court - which in my opinion is the anti-gay - any time soon. 

Virginia Republicans Kill Second Parent Adoption Bill

Now that gays can marry in Virginia presumably married gay couples can adopt in the same manner as heterosexual married couples.  But, there are instances where gays - just like many widowed senior citizens - cannot marry without losing benefits they are otherwise entitled to.  To address this situation, Democrat Senator Janet Howell, who I have the good fortune to know, introduced a bill that would have allowed an unmarried partner to adopt the other partner's children.  The goal?  To afford children of such couples as much legal security as possible.  The response of the Virginia GOP - which disingenuously claims to care about children?  The bill was killed in a straight party line vote, with Republicans no doubt following the orders of Victoria Cobb and the Christofascists at The Family Foundation.  Here's the vote breakdown: 

YEAS--Puller, Locke, Barker, Favola, Wexton, Deeds, Petersen--7.
NAYS--Wagner, Hanger, McDougle, Norment, Black, Reeves, McWaters, Chafin--8.

The Virginian Pilot has more details.  Here are highlights:
A proposal to allow adoption by the partners of unmarried gay parents was rejected Friday by a Virginia Senate committee.

Thanks to a series of federal court decisions last year, same-sex couples now have the right to marry in Virginia. But some choose not to do so, and Sen. Janet Howell's measure would have accommodated such couples by allowing someone other than the spouse of a parent to adopt a child.

Howell, a Fairfax County Democrat, said children in such circumstances deserve the security and protection of two legal parents.

Adoption opens the door to additional health care options and other financial benefits, she said, and ensures that a child will still have a parent in the event of the biological parent's death.

Virginia doesn't require opposite-sex parents to marry in order for both to have legal rights to their children, but that's not true for same-sex parents, Howell said.

"We need to level the playing field," she said. "The world has shifted, but some children have been left behind."

The Republican-controlled Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services Committee defeated the measure on a party-line 8-7 vote.
As the Washington Blade notes, Equality Virginia board member Catherine Read summed things up well:

“The Senate is killing all kinds of bills in committee because life here in the commonwealth is just so amazing idyllic for the straight white men who are the majority of ‘deciderers’ in our legislature,” Catherine Read, an Equality Virginia board member who lives in Fairfax, told the Blade. “To change the outcome, we need to change the people sitting in those seats.”
It is disappointing that even Sen. Frank Wagner who I have known for over 20 years voted with the gay-haters.

Saturday Morning Male Beauty

Univision Sends Shiver Through G.O.P.

While the would be GOP presidential candidates continue to see who can most thoroughly prostitute them self to the Christofascist/Tea Party base of the GOP, Jorge Ramos, the Univision and Fusion television anchor who is often called the Walter Cronkite of Latino America, is calling out the GOP on its anti-immigrant - read racist - agenda.  With the number of Latino voters growing even as the angry aging conservative Christian whites that the GOP depends upon dies off, the GOP's anti-immigrant, pro-white supremacist position is nothing more than a form of slow suicide.  It goes without saying that the GOP does not like Ramos' speaking the truth about the GOP being no friend to Latino voters.  Here are highlights from a New York Times piece:
DORAL, Fla. — Jorge Ramos, the Univision and Fusion television anchor who is often called the Walter Cronkite of Latino America, was in his suburban Miami broadcast studio when he all but pounced on the chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, who was appearing from Washington. The Republicans’ immigration policy is “deportations, deportations, deportations,” Mr. Ramos said. “Why?”

Mr. Priebus, who stared out from multiple screens in a control room here looking as if he would rather have been doing anything but talking to Mr. Ramos, insisted it was not so. But Mr. Ramos would not have it.

“The message,” he retorted, “is anti-immigrant.”

For years, Mr. Ramos largely aimed his ire at President Obama for breaking his 2008 campaign promise — made directly to Mr. Ramos — that he would propose an overhaul of the nation’s immigration system in his first year in office, and for deporting two million people since. Even after Mr. Obama announced late last year that nearly half of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants could apply to work without fear of deportation, Mr. Ramos confronted him during a Nashville forum for having “destroyed many families” by not acting sooner.

But Mr. Ramos’s focus has changed, he said in an interview here: “Now is the turn of Republicans.”

This weekend, the Spanish-language Univision, and Fusion, its English-language venture with ABC News, will cover the first gathering of 2016 Republican presidential aspirants, at a conservative forum in Des Moines on Saturday organized by Representative Steve King of Iowa. Mr. King, an immigration hard-liner, is well known to Latinos for remarks like one claiming that most young border-crossers have “calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana.”

That coverage follows Mr. Ramos’s in-depth reporting last week of House Republicans’ vote to block Mr. Obama’s immigration orders and deport up to four million people, mainly so-called Dreamers brought to the United States as children and the parents of American citizens.
Given Republicans’ immigration stance, Mr. Ramos expects to cover more such stories through 2016.  And that has some Republicans worried.

“Remember what L.B.J. said, ‘When you lose Walter Cronkite, you’ve lost the war’?” said Matthew Dowd, a campaign adviser to George W. Bush, recalling the oft-cited if disputed story that President Lyndon B. Johnson said he lost “middle America” when Cronkite turned against the Vietnam War. Among Latino voters, Mr. Ramos has the sort of influence and audience that Cronkite had more broadly among Americans in his day.

[I]n 2016, the Republican record will matter. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, who said during the campaign that undocumented residents should “self-deport” — a position he defended in an interview last November on Univision — got only 27 percent of Latinos’ votes. Republican strategists say their 2016 nominee must get more than 40 percent to win.

“But immigration is personal,” he [Ramos] said. “Immigration is the issue that tells us who is with us and who is against us; there’s no question about it. And it’s very simple to understand why — half of all Latinos over 18 years of age were born outside the United States. It really makes no sense to attack them and criticize them if you want their vote.”

The issue is also personal for Mr. Ramos, 56, who has the smooth, silver-haired look of a classic television anchor. Born in Mexico City, he came to the United States as a young journalist, and by 28 he was an anchor for Univision. In 2008, he became an American citizen. Univision is a media goliath, but with the 2013 debut of Fusion in English, Mr. Ramos’s reach expanded significantly, and with it the attention of American politicians.

[W]en Republicans, days after his interview with Mr. Priebus, released their roster of televised debates for presidential candidates, Univision and Fusion were not among the chosen media hosts.

Mr. Ramos responded with what has become his mantra. “The new rule in American politics is that no one can make it to the White House without the Hispanic vote,” he said. “So we still expect all candidates from both parties to talk to us.”

I suspect the King sponsored gathering will provide Ramos will all kinds of anti-Republican ammunition.  The batshitery at the even will likely be over the top.  One can only hope the GOP will reap what it has sown in 2016.

Federal Court Strikes Down Alabama Gay Marriage Ban

Alabama Capitol
Just as it took the federal courts to strike down Jim Crow laws in Alabama, so now we see the federal courts striking down Alabama's animus inspired ban on same sex marriage.  Given the reality that Alabama is now more reactionary than it was when I lived there over 30 years ago, it is a welcome event to see a federal judge - a George W. Bush appointee no less - strike down a constitutional ban that enshrined religious based discrimination into the Alabama Constitution.  Here are highlights from the Washington Blade:

A federal judge in Alabama has become the latest to strike down a state ban on same-sex marriage, ruling against the Yellowhammer State’s prohibition on gay nuptials on the basis that it violates the Fourteenth Amendment.

In a 10-page decision on Friday, U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade, an appointee of George W. Bush, issued summary judgement in favor of a plaintiff same-sex couple, finding Alabama marriage laws violate the couple’s right to due process and equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.

“There has been no evidence presented that these marriage laws have any effect on the choices of couples to have or raise children, whether they are same-sex couples or opposite-sex couples,” Granade writes. “In sum, the laws in question are an irrational way of promoting biological relationships in Alabama.”

Granade continues Alabama’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional for the same reason the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013.

“If anything, Alabama’s prohibition of same-sex marriage detracts from its goal of promoting optimal environments for children,” Granade writes. “Those children currently being raised by same-sex parents in Alabama are just as worthy of protection and recognition by the State as are the children being raised by opposite-sex parents. Yet Alabama’s Sanctity laws harms the children of same-sex couples for the same reasons that the Supreme Court found that the Defense of Marriage Act harmed the children of same-sex couples.”

No stay is included in the decision, which enjoins the state from enforcing Alabama’s laws prohibiting same-sex marriage in their entirety. It seems same-sex couples can begin to wed in the state as soon as clerk’s offices are open for business. The decision makes Alabama the 37th state in the country to have same-sex marriage.
I'm sure the gay haters are foaming at the mouth this morning all across Alabama.

The Ugly Legacy Of King Abdullah

Diplomats and world leaders are falling all over themselves to say nice things about King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia who died earlier in the week.  The level of self-prostitution on the part of these individuals is enough to make one vomit.  The reality is that but for Saudi Arabia's vast oil reserves Abdullah would likely instead have been condemned for human rights abuses and fostering dangerous religious extremism.  The man put wealth and personal power over all else and presided over a government that regularly violates international human rights treaties, denies religious freedom and freedom of the press and upholds treating women as the chattel property of their husbands or male relatives.  John Kerry's statement that "King Abdullah was a man of wisdom & vision" shows that Kerry's head is so far up his ass that it's a wonder he hasn't suffocated.  The sad take away is that if one controls enough oil, one can do whatever one wants and engage in all kinds of abuses and savagery.  Equally sad is America's willingness to throw its principles out the window for the sake of oil.  Think Progress looks at Abdullah's track record on women's rights.  Here are some highlights:

One of the most scrutinized aspects of the Saudi Arabia’s rights’ record is its so-called “male guardianship system,” women are not allowed to travel, obtain a passport, marry, or continue their education without the approval of a male relative. 

The King’s own daughters are hardly an exception to the harsh rule. Four of his daughters claim that the are being forcibly held in a dilapidated palace with little in the way of food and water. “Our father said that we had no way out,” Sahar Al Saud, 42, wrote in an email to the British broadcast network Channel 4, “And that after his death our brothers will continue detaining us.”

“We are just an example of so many families, of what so many women, go through. Just a tiny, tiny example,” the princess who once enjoyed international skiing and shopping trips said.

It’s not only Saudi Arabian women who face heavy-handed sentences for defying the country’s strict laws around social order.

Less than 10 percent of Saudis are able to vote.

According to a report by the human rights organization Amnesty International, more than 2,000 people were executed in Saudi Arabia between 1985 and 2013. The organization claims that many of those who have been tortured or killed were advocates for social and political reform in the country who were charged with vague offenses like “disobeying the ruler.” 

On Friday, Saudi authorities again postponed the flogging of the progressive blogger Raif Badawi.
Not exactly the handiwork of a "reformer."  Andrew Sullivan has a summary of other reactions that show the falsity of the statements lauding Abdullah who was in fact a tyrant.  Here are excerpts:
Greenwald is disgusted by the tributes to the late Saudi king:
The effusive praise being heaped on the brutal Saudi despot by western media and political figures has been nothing short of nauseating; the UK Government, which arouses itself on a daily basis by issuing self-consciously eloquent lectures to the world about democracy, actually ordered flags flown all day at half-mast to honor this repulsive monarch.
Murtaza Hussain piles on:
It’s not often that the unelected leader of a country which publicly flogs dissidents and beheads people for sorcery wins such glowing praise from American officials. Even more perplexing, perhaps, have been the fawning obituaries in the mainstream press which have faithfully echoed this characterization of Abdullah as a benign and well-intentioned man of peace.
Andrew Brown likewise takes the Saudis to task: 
Saudi’s influence on the outside world is almost wholly malign. The young men it sent to fight in Afghanistan turned into al-Qaida. The Sunni jihadis whom Saudis have funded in Iraq and Syria turned into Isis. It has spread a poisonous form of Islam throughout Europe with its subsidies, and corrupted western politicians and businessmen with its culture of bribery. The Saudis have always appealed to the worst forms of western imperialism: their contempt for other Muslims is as great as any American nationalist’s.
 My thoughts on Abdullah? Good riddance.  Sadly, his replacement will likely be no better.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Morning Male Beauty

The GOP Meltdown On Abortion And Rape

Since the 2014 midterm elections we've heard constant blather about the GOP being focused on proving that it can govern responsibly.  So what do Congressional Republicans do?  Try to pass abortion legislation.  Forget about the economy, forget about job creation, it's ALL about pleasing the Christofascists in the party base.  The move proved even more disastrous because disagreement broke out amongst the ranks and the bill had to be pulled.  Talking Points Memo looks at the GOP three ring circus.  Here are highlights:
Tens of thousands of Americans descended on Washington for the annual March For Life on Thursday only to see House Republicans melt down over their signature issue: abortion.

A symbolic messaging bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy threw the party into disarray and was abruptly pulled at the last minute after a group of GOP women and swing-district lawmakers raised hackles over a rape-exception provision that required victims of sexual assault to report the crime to authorities before they could get an abortion.

The rebellion was lit in recent days by women in the conference, primarily Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), as well as more centrist members including a sizable faction of freshmen in swing districts. Republican leaders and conservatives were blindsided — after all, they had comfortably passed similar legislation in the last Congress with the same rape clause.

Center-right Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) strongly criticized the abortion bill, suggesting that it passed with the rape clause in 2013 only because most members hadn't read it closely.

"The less we engage on this issue [of rape] legislatively, the better off we are as a party," he said. "What kind of message are we sending?"

In the end, Republican leaders pulled the bill and took a bullet for their objecting members, who were facing the wrath of anti-abortion advocates. Opponents admitted it likely would have passed despite their objections, but the drama over the rape clause would have put moderates in a bind and threatened to damage the party's brand.

"I would prefer that our party spend less time focusing on these very contentious social issues because that distracts us from broader economic messages," Dent said. "This was a messaging bill that was going nowhere in the Senate."

One of the rebelling freshman, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), called the rape provision in the abortion bill that was shelved a "mistake." He said it caused "a level of discomfort, especially with the females in our conference."

"I'm pro-life but I had concerns about the bill — the rape requirement. I think that was something that was dividing our conference," he told reporters. "We have to have absolute sympathy and solidarity with any woman who was raped."

For Dent, it has been a depressing start to the new Congress.

"Week one, we had a Speaker election that didn't go as well as a lot of us would have liked. Week two, we spent a lot of time talking about deporting children, a conversation a lot of us didn't want to have. Week three, we're debating reportable rape and incest — again, not an issue a lot of us wanted to have a conversation about," the Republican congressman said. "I just can't wait for week four."
Sadly, much of the GOP base believes that any woman who is raped must have been asking for it or is a slut who is trying to use a claim of rape to cover her own promiscuity.  Such is the base of today's GOP.  Expect more batshitery and focus on social issues and immigrant bashing since these issues fire up the lunatic party base.

Seven Enormous Lies “American Sniper” is Telling America

American Sniper is one movie that I have no plans to see given that in many ways one would think that it had been commissioned by the Bush/Cheney regime to rewrite history to justify the Iraq War and the horrors for which both Bush and Cheney should be facing war crimes prosecution.  For those who are of an "America right or wrong" mindset, I'm sure that these truth deniers will love the film.  For those who value accurate history and an honest look at America's mistakes in the hope we can avoid repeating them, the movie is nothing short of dangerous propaganda.  A picture of the real Chris Kyle is above. A piece in Salon looks at the lies the movie is promoting: 
The film American Sniper, based on the story of the late Navy Seal Chris Kyle, is a box office hit, setting records for an R-rated film released in January. Yet the film, the autobiography of the same name, and the reputation of Chris Kyle are all built on a set of half-truths, myths and outright lies that Hollywood didn’t see fit to clear up.

Here are seven lies about Chris Kyle and the story that director Clint Eastwood is telling:
1. The Film Suggests the Iraq War Was In Response To 9/11: One way to get audiences to unambiguously support Kyle’s actions in the film is to believe he’s there to avenge the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The movie cuts from Kyle watching footage of the attacks to him serving in Iraq, implying there is some link between the two.

2. The Film Invents a Terrorist Sniper Who Works For Multiple Opposing Factions: Kyle’s primary antagonist in the film is a sniper named Mustafa. Mustafa is mentioned in a single paragraph in Kyle’s book, but the movie blows him up into an ever-present figure and Syrian Olympic medal winner who fights for both Sunni insurgents in Fallujah and the Shia Madhi army.

3. The Film Portrays Chris Kyle as Tormented By His Actions: Multiple scenes in the movie portray Kyle as haunted by his service. One of the film’s earliest reviews praised it for showing the “emotional torment of so many military men and women.” But that torment is completely absent from the book the film is based on. In the book, Kyle refers to everyone he fought as “savage, despicable” evil. He writes, “I only wish I had killed more.” He also writes, “I loved what I did. I still do. If circumstances were different – if my family didn’t need me – I’d be back in a heartbeat. I’m not lying or exaggerating to say it was fun.

4. The Real Chris Kyle Made Up A Story About Killing Dozens of People In Post-Katrina New Orleans: Kyle claimed that he killed 30 people in the chaos of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, a story Louisiana writer Jarvis DeBerry calls “preposterous.”  It shows the sort of mentality post-war Kyle had, but the claim doesn’t appear in the film.

5. The Real Chris Kyle Fabricated A Story About Killing Two Men Who Tried To Carjack Him In Texas: Kyle told numerous people a story about killing two alleged carjackers in Texas. Reporters tried repeatedly to verify this claim, but no evidence of it exists.

6. Chris Kyle Was Successfully Sued For Lying About the Former Governor of Minnesota:Kyle alleged that former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura defamed Navy SEALs and got into a fight with him at a local bar. Ventura successfully sued Kyle for the passage in his book, and a jury awarded him $1.845 million.

7. Chris Kyle’s Family Claimed He Donated His Book Proceeds To Veterans’ Charity, But He Kept Most Of The Profits: The National Review debunks the claim that all proceeds of his book went to veterans’ charities. Around 2 percent – $52,000 – went to the charities while the Kyles pocketed $3 million.

Although the movie is an initial box office hit, there is a growing backlash against its simplistic portrayal of the war and misleading take on Kyle’s character. This backlash has reportedly spread among members of the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Sciences, which could threaten the film’s shot at racking up Oscars.
 I'm sure Dick Cheney will love the movie if he hasn't already seen it.  That alone speaks volumes about how disturbing this movie is and the lies it perpetuates.

GOP Senate Environment Committee Rants that Climate Change a Hoax

We had plenty of warning that batshit craziness would ensue once Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) became the chairman of the Senate Environment Committee and Inhofe has wasted no time in demonstrating that he's lost touch with objective reality.   Inhofe took to the Senate floor for a long speech about how he believes human-caused climate change is fake. Never mind that the consensus of scientists (other than those funded by the oil industry) is nearly unanimous.  Think Progress looks at Inhofe's lunacy.  Here are highlights:

Wednesday was a big day for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). In the morning, he officially took the gavel as chairman of the Senate’s Environment Committee. In the afternoon, he took the Senate floor for a long speech about how human-caused climate change is fake.

[T]he speech has everything. References to the oft-debunked “ClimateGate” stolen e-mail “scandal”, a poster of a Time Magazine cover from 1974 claiming an ice age is coming, and multiple references to former Vice President Al Gore. It has a mention of a survey of weather-casters who think global warming is caused by natural variation, but does not mention that weather-casters are not climate scientists. It even includes the claim that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “started” the whole idea that climate change is happening . . .

Inhofe says he has compiled a list of 4,000 “renowned scientists” scientists who disagree (“this is all in my website,” he said). Inhofe’s list actually has 650 people, some of whom are television meteorologists, geologists, anthropologists, and even a man with no college degree. 

Conversely, one of the most recent peer-reviewed studies on the state of climate science showed that out of 4000 abstracts from peer-reviewed papers published in the past 21 years that stated a position on the cause of global warming — 97 percent of these endorsed the point that it was human-caused. In the video, Inhofe says this is “just not true.”

Don’t expect this speech to be the end of climate denial in the Senate. Indeed, Inhofe ended his speech by promising more of it, citing his new position as head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
 The Republican Party that I grew up in is truly dead and gone.  Insanity, racism, bigotry and the embrace of ignorance are now the GOP norm.  As for Inhofe, he belongs in a mental institution.

Additional GOP climate change deniers

Thursday, January 22, 2015

More Thursday Male Beauty

Huckabee/GOP: Nullification Now Coming to the Supreme Court

I still recall being stunned when Mike Huckabee appeared on Morning Joe and admitted that he wanted to replace the United States Constitution with the Bible.  The man as much as admitted on national television that he wanted a theocracy.  Now, Huckabee - and other far right elements in the GOP - are urging states to ignore any potential ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court that may be handed down that extends same sex marriage nationwide.  It's basically the same argument that the Southern States made during the lead up to the Civil War and was made again in the 1950's and 1960's when the federal courts forced desegregation in the Deep South.  The Atlantic looks at Huckabee's near treasonous batshitery (Note: lunatic GOP Senator Joni Ernst supports nullification).  Here are excerpts:
When the Tea Party wave arrived in 2010, it swept away much of the Republican Party's existing structure, and instituted a more populist approach. But as waves tend to do, it left some even older debris in its wake. "Nullification," the theory that states can invalidate federal laws that they deem unconstitutional, had its heyday in the slavery debate that preceded the Civil War, but it has found new currency since 2010.

The theory has never been validated by a federal court, yet some Republican officeholders have suggested states can nullify laws, including Senator Joni Ernst, who gave the GOP rebuttal to the State of the Union. 

Now Mike Huckabee seems to be opening up a new front. The Supreme Court last week agreed to hear a case on whether same-sex-marriage bans are unconstitutional. There's no such thing as a sure bet with the Court, but many watchers on both sides of the issue believe the justices will strike down the bans. Some conservatives seem resigned to the fact that the fight is lost; not Huckabee. Here's what he told radio host Hugh Hewitt Tuesday:
One thing I am angry about, though, Hugh, is this notion of judicial supremacy, where if the courts make a decision, I hear governors and even some aspirants to the presidency say well, that’s settled, and it’s the law of the land. No, it isn’t the law of the land. Constitutionally, the courts cannot make a law. They can interpret one. And then the legislature has to create enabling legislation, and the executive has to sign it, and has to enforce it.
Hewitt seemed a little taken aback: Was Huckabee counseling that county clerks simply ignore Supreme Court rulings and refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples?

That's not an entirely novel idea, as Huckabee, a former governor of Arkansas, should know. In 1957, the state believed it could block the Little Rock School Board from adhering to the Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education.* President Eisenhower disagreed, and dispatched troops to show Governor Orval Faubus how wrong he was. Faubus is not an historical model most contemporary politicians would be willing to follow.

Huckabee's legal analysis seems off, too. What happens when a court rules against such a marriage law is that a specific provision—a clause that defines marriage as involving one man and one woman, for instance—is defined as unconstitutional. That doesn't invalidate the entirety of a state's marriage laws, so the rest stand and there's no need for the legislature or governor to act. By analogy, Loving v. Virginia didn't invalidate all of the Commonwealth of Virginia's marriage laws; it just meant interracial unions were no longer prohibited. Presumably, a state could avoid having to sanction gay marriages by simply eliminating civil marriage altogether. That's been suggested in Oklahoma, for example, but no state has actually done so.

Huckabee wants conservative states that oppose gay marriage to be able to keep opposing it, but he isn't suggesting dissolving the federal government wholesale. He still wants states to generally be bound by national laws. But if some states can pick and choose laws, others will surely do the same—and in such a polarized national landscape, they'll start picking and choosing increasingly contradictory options.

It's a ticket to dissolving the union, all in the name of preventing same-sex unions.
 If Huckabee wants to live under a theocracy, I say deport him to Iran or Saudi Arabia.  I suspect that he would not like being treated they way he wants to treat others.  If we were lucky, maybe the Saudis would execute him for blasphemy against Islam.  

Virginia Republicans Kill Bill to Ban "Conversion Therapy"

I mentioned recently that two bills had been introduced in the current session of the Virginia General Assembly to ban the use of so-called "conversion therapy" on minors.   At the time I speculated that in deference to the Christofascists at The Family Foundation, the de facto ruler of the Virginia GOP, Senate Republicans would kill the bill introduced by Sen. Louise Lucas, while theie counterparts in the House of Delegates kill Del. Hope's bill.  Today, members of the Senate Education and Health Committee in a straight party line vote with Republicans in the majority killed the bill by tabling it indefinitely.  Here's a breakdown of the vote:

YEAS--Martin, Newman, Smith, McWaters, Black, Carrico, Garrett, Cosgrove--8.
NAYS--Saslaw, Lucas, Howell, Locke, Barker, Petersen, Lewis--7.

Thus, yet again Republican members of the State Senate proved themselves to be worse than tawdry whores when it comes to prostituting themselves to the demands of the Christofascists at The Family Foundation.  Never mind that every legitimate medical and mental health association in America condemns "conversion therapy." The Washington Blade has more details.  Here are highlights:

A Virginia Senate committee on Thursday struck down a bill that would have banned “conversion therapy” to minors in the commonwealth.

Members of the Senate Education and Health Committee by a 7-8 vote margin tabled Senate Bill 988 that state Sen. Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) introduced on Jan. 12. 

It is extremely disappointing that our lawmakers cannot come together in support of a bill that would protect Virginia’s LGBT youth,” said James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, in a statement. “We cannot continue to allow our youth to be put through this so-called ‘treatment’ that can cause depression, anxiety, and self-destructive behavior. At best, allowing this harmful treatment on our youth is irresponsible, and at worse, it could contribute to the unthinkable.”

The House Health, Welfare and Institutions Subcommittee earlier in the day heard testimony for and against House Bill 1385, an identical measure that state Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington County) introduced last month.
Representatives of the Family Foundation of Virginia and the Virginia Catholic Conference spoke against the bills alongside a Baptist minister.