Republicans have a habit of referring to the legal union of one man and one woman as "traditional marriage." But history tells a different story. On Wednesday's show, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell enlisted reality star "Honey Boo Boo" — yes, that child pageant queen — to help explain Romney-Ryan values in the Rewrite.
Earlier in the week, Paul Ryan told a crowd in Ohio, "traditional marriage and family and entrepreneurship" are not "values that are indicative to any one person or creed or color. These are American values, these are universal human values."
O'Donnell immediately took issue with that premise. He explained, "first of all, entrepreneurship is not a value, it's an activity. Family is not a value. Family is a societal unit. Some families have values. Some don't."
O'Donnell then listed all the ways marriage today has evolved over the centuries, from arranged relationships to polygamy. Not so long ago, Romney's great-grandfather, also a Mormon, had five wives at the same time.
"Mitt Romney obviously believes he has to rewrite the history of marriage, including the history of marriage in his own family, to give moral weight to the Republican argument against marriage equality for everyone," said O'Donnell. "Mitt Romney believes lying is the way to achieve moral superiority for his argument against marriage equality."
A new ad from American Values PAC, which is connected to evangelical leader Gary Bauer according to Politicker, attempts to convince Obama supporters who oppose same-sex marriage to support the Romney-Ryan ticket. Some observations about the ad...
"Hey, honey — how are ya?" The husband waited until after he prepared the cup of coffee to ask his wife how she's doing. We can only assume that the husband and wife spent the preceding minute or two in the kitchen in complete silence, demonstrating just how much President Obama's support for marriage equality has ruined this couple's marriage.
*Close up of coffee mug* Any directors out there want to explain this shot? Does the ad not work unless we know the coffee mug landed safely?
"Fine, I guess." The wife doesn't thank her husband for making her coffee. No time for thank yous. Not with this gay marriage thing threatening her way of life.
"Obama is trying to force gay marriage on this country." That's a stretch. President Obama supports marriage equality, though has yet to introduce legislation to legalize same-sex marriage. If anyone is attempting "to force" a definition of marriage on this country, that would be the presidential candidate backing the federal amendment.
Also, President Obama announced his support for marriage equality in May. The wife is just learning about Obama's position now? Maybe she didn't thank her husband for delivering the coffee because she's mad that he just got around to delivering her MAY'S NEWSPAPER.
"What can we do?" She has no idea what to do. She can't think of one way to help remove President Obama from office. Not one. She needs ideas. And if anyone can deliver on an idea to help remove President Obama from office, it's the guy who silently and thanklessly delivers her coffee in the morning.
"We can vote..." Oh yeah. Voting. Why didn't she think of that? I mean, she remembered voting for Obama, but are you even allowed to vote twice?
The ad is appearing on televisions in North Carolina, where, in May, 61 percent of voters backed an amendment to North Carolina's constitution that banned same-sex marriage. A recent Pew poll shows that 29% of Democrats oppose legalizing same-sex marriage.
Do you think a voter who backed President Obama in 2008 will back Mitt Romney in 2012 because of President Obama's position on same-sex marriage? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
The Nevada legislature passed the Domestic Partnership Responsibilities Act three years ago. The law grants to same-sex domestic partners all the legal rights married couples enjoy. This did not, however, help Terri-Ann Simonelli when her domestic partner Brittney Leon checked into Spring Valley Hospital with complications in her pregnancy. The hospital denied Simonelli visitation rights until she secured power of attorney, according to The Las Vegas Review-Journal.
When Leon and Simonelli offered to return home and get the domestic partnership document the State of Nevada issued them, the hospital admissions officer resisted, maintaining that their policy required power of attorney for all gay couples.
In a tense and exasperating moment made more so by this exchange, Simonelli broke down: "I am usually a big fighter. But I was so emotionally upset." The hospital held firm. Leon ended up losing the baby.
"We went there thinking we had the state's backing," Simonelli told the Review-Journal. "Then we were told we were wrong. It didn't matter that we were registered domestic partners."
It's not surprising that Leon and Simonelli assumed they had hospital visitation rights for each other. Here is the Nevada law that covers this issue:
NRS 122A.200 1(a) Domestic partners have the same rights, protections and benefits, and are subject to the same responsibilities, obligations and duties under law, whether derived from statutes, administrative regulations, court rules, government policies, common law or any other provisions or sources of law, as are granted to and imposed upon spouses.
And then, of course, there's this:
NRS 122A.200 1(f) Domestic partners have the same right to nondiscriminatory treatment as that provided to spouses.
One Nevada lawmaker says the seeming breach of these statutes might come down to the lack of penalty for actually breaching them. "What really happens now if they deny your rights? Not much," said Democratic Assemblyman Tick Segerblom of Las Vegas. "We need a remedy."
Leon and Simonelli declined to file a complaint against Spring Valley Hospital. They said they hope their experience, though devastating, will do some good by raising awareness of the discrimination that same-sex partners still face across the country, even in states where the law itself defends their rights.
Kameron Slade is a 10-year-old boy from Queens who wrote a speech for a competition two months ago at school. The school's principal would not allow Slade to give his speech, deeming it too controversial. The reason? Kameron Slade wrote a speech supporting marriage equality.
But the boy has now been given quite an impressive audience, the New York City Council, to share his words. The New York Times has the story:
Wearing a pressed gray suit, black shoes and a purple shirt and tie, Kameron Slade, 10, fidgeted slightly before his name was called in the City Council chambers on Wednesday. He approached the microphone set before the room full of politicians, lowered his head to the papers he clutched in his hands and began to speak.
The Times also reports that Slade was eventually allowed to give his speech at school at a separate assembly. But that was only after the Department of Education stepped in.
The boy's mother helped him brainstorm and pick the topic of marriage equality for his speech. She told The Times, "Sometimes we’ll be walking down the street and we’ll see two men or two women holding hands; and he gets that. I want my children to be accepting."
Chick-fil-A says its just trying to protect the children and this time they say the danger that worries the company has nothing to do with gay and lesbian people, this time the danger Chick-fil-A is worried about is actually coming from Chick-fil-A. Or at least it might be coming with your Chick-fil-A.
You may have seen the picture on the internet or the one that was shared several thousand times on Facebook from a Chick-Fil-A store in Texas that announced on July 19 that it was recalling Chick-Fil-A Muppet toys. The sign is dated just before the Jim Henson Company announced it would stop providing toys for the fast food chain's kids' meals because of Chick-fil-A's anti-gay positions.
Our Colleagues at CNBC (the Business folks) reached out to Chick-Fil-A and the company responded: nope, no way, no how, not related:
"Please understand that this is simply a precautionary and voluntary recall by the Chick-fil-A chain. The timing is purely coincidental. Anyone representing anything else is offering a misleading and unfair claim."
So nope, the fact that a store in Texas pulled its Jim Henson Toys right as the Henson company publicly shunned the Atlanta-based company are totally not related.
Rep. Barney Frank and Jim Ready walking back down the aisle after exchanging vows in Newton, Massachusetts on Saturday.
Veteran lawmaker Barney Frank married longtime boyfriend Jim Ready on Saturday night in Newton, Massachusetts, becoming the first sitting member of Congress to marry to a partner of the same-sex. Details are now trickling of what one guest called the "wedding of the century for liberal gay Democratic politics," according to the New York Times.
Senator John Kerry and Gov. Deval L. Patrick left early. But Representative Nancy Pelosi stayed late — and swayed on the dance floor to “It’s Raining Men.” Elizabeth Kucinich snapped photographs, as her husband, Dennis, chatted up Representative Steny H. Hoyer by the hors d’oeuvres. And Terrence McNally, the playwright, joined in the hora and a group singalong of "Low Rider" by War, with President Obama-themed lyrics written for the occasion.
Massachusetts Governor Patrick, a champion of states implementing marriage equality, officiated the ceremony.
Frank offered up his relationship status back in 1987 by publicly announcing he was gay. And he was the first congressman to do so voluntarily.
This is the first marriage for both Frank and Ready.
The Good Pastor tries to make his congregation see the light about his position on marriage equality. The Bad Pastor hangs President Obama in effigy, lynches him up and claims there was absolutely nothing racist about it. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell has the comparison in the latest Rewrite.
Following President's announcement of his support for same-sex marriages a few weeks ago, the Obama campaign has released a new campaign ad, narrated by Glee star Jane Lynch.
She begins the video, "In 2008 our country elected a leader who not only acknowledged the LGBT community, but who embraced it." "We elected a man who understood our struggle and who has pushed the nation forward towards equality."
Lynch says President Obama's passion resulted in "more significant advances for LGBT Americans than any other president who came before him."
The first sitting President to support same-sex marriage credits "a lifetime of friends and family, people I’ve gotten to know who have helped me to understand how the fight for LGBT rights is consistent with that most important part of America’s character, which is to constantly expand opportunity and fairness to everyone."
During Obama's first term, he expanded hospital visitation and consultation rights for same-sex couples, offered new benefits for the partners of federal employees, pushed hate-crime legislation, and lastly, repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which Obama calls one of his proudest moments.
Colin Powell joined the ranks of leaders to stand up for marriage equality.
Just two weeks after President Obama declared his support of same-sex marriage, the former secretary of state under George W. Bush said he had "no problems with it" during an interview on Wednesday. "I don’t see any reason not to say that [same-sex couples] should be able to get married under the laws of their state or the laws of the country."
He added, "I support the president's decision.”
Powell served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell first began in 1993. Two years ago, he announced backed the repeal of DADT.
At the rate we're going, we might need to create a special Rewrite category dedicated to North Carolina pastors. Violent rhetoric against gays and lesbians continued to be spewed from the pulpits over the weekend.
Pastor Charles Worley told his congregation at Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina he wants to put an electric fence around gays and lesbians in order to make sure they "die out." And that's a quote.
They're making people like Rev. Dr. William J. Barbero of Goldsboro, North Carolina seem like a rarity. In a recent Rewrite segment, Lawrence O’Donnell honored Barbero, who so eloquently spoke out against the constitutional amendment banning marriage equality in that state.
America's golden girl Betty White endorsed President Obama on Friday. The 90-year-old actress says she usually stays mum on politics as to not offend any fans. But she admitted to the Associated Press that she "very, very much favors" Obama and likes "how he represents us."
Known for her animal rights advocacy, it turns out she's also an advocate for marriage equality. In 2010, she told Parade magazine:
"I don't care who anybody sleeps with. If a couple has been together all that time - and there are gay relationships that are more solid than some heterosexual ones - I think it's fine if they want to get married. I don't know how people can get so anti-something. Mind your own business, take care of your affairs, and don't worry about other people so much."
White's impressive career spans over seven decades, including her role as Rose Nylund on the 1980s sitcom, "The Golden Girls." Below is a clip from that award-winning, groundbreaking show where the characters tackle the issue of marriage equality.
Shepard Smith said on Fox News on Wednesday that Republicans sit on "the wrong side of history" on the same-sex marriage issue...
SHEPARD SMITH: The President of the United States, now in the twenty-first century. And what I'm most curious about is whether it's your belief that in this time of rising debts and medical issues and all the rest, if Republicans would go out on a limb and try to make this a campaign issue while sitting very firmly, without much question, on the wrong side of history on it.
That earned praise from Lawrence O'Donnell in Wednesday's Rewrite and this reaction from Rush Limbaugh on Thursday...
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Shep, where's the issue won? Where has it emerged victorious, Shep, outside your house? Where has this issue won an election? What state? Tell me where it's happened. Even California... You wanna look at the polls or you wanna look at the votes?... Nothing's changed... I think Obama's on the wrong side of history...
Nice job, Rush — you just ripped apart an argument that Shep Smith never made. Shep isn't talking about past elections. Shep is talking about how future elections, perhaps those taking place in November, according to polling momentum, will show that the Republican Party is sitting on the wrong side of history, electorally and morally, on the issue of marriage equality.
Rush probably knew what Shep meant, but lacked a counterargument so he made up a new argument to argue against. It's like Rush saw Shep driving a 2013 Corvette and said, "Hey, everyone, look at that terrible 2012 Camry."