Friday, September 30, 2011

Census numbers on gay households and impact on marriage debate.

Interesting story on the number of gay couples in Minnesota. Census Bureau's earlier numbers of around 13,718 couples were revised down to 10,207 couples with about 1,300 of those claiming to be married.

Significance for the marriage debate? What comes to mind is why redefine the institution of marriage for the benefit of only .65 percent of Minnesota households. Again the redefinition of marriage to a genderless institution isn't about letting a few gay couples get married but redefining the institution for all of society, such that the man/woman connection is completely eliminated. And as a result, the state will have an legal interest in promoting and imposing it's new definition of marriage on the rest of society.

These numbers also point out what a small percent of households gay couples comprise. Around one half of one percent. This of course is contrary to public perception. A
Gallup poll in May found that a majority of Americans believe that 25%of Americans are gay or lesbian. I wonder what they came up with that idea? The media and entertainment industry where gay or lesbians characters are disproportionally portrayed.

It was interesting reading a Gallup interpretation of the numbers. They note there is "little reliable evidence" about the actual number of gays and lesbians because it's a fluid label.

There is little reliable evidence about what percentage of the U.S. population is in reality gay or lesbian, due to few representative surveys asking about sexual orientation, complexities surrounding the groups and definitions involved, and the probability that some gay and lesbian individuals may not choose to identify themselves as such. Demographer Gary Gates last month released a review of population-based surveys on the topic, estimating that 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, with bisexuals making up a slight majority of that figure. Gates also disputes the well-circulated statistic that "10% of the males are more or less exclusively homosexual."
While perception becomes reality for some people, it still doesn't change reality.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What does the AFL-CIO and gay activists have in common? Opposition to marriage.

The marriage protection amendment is producing an interesting alliance of groups on the left.

A coalition of groups have publicly stated their opposition to the Marriage Protection Amendment on the ballot in November 2012.

OutFront, Project 515, and Human Rights Campaign naturally headline the groups opposed to the amendment. Then there's the ACLU, NOW, MPIRG, and a litany of DFL associated groups like DFL Party, DFL Feminist Caucus, DFL Veteran's council, and DFL Senate Districts 38, 62.

Then several religious groups: Unity Unitarian Church, Shir Tikvah Jewish Synagogue, Lutherans Concerned, Catholics for Marriage Equality, and First Univeralist Church of Minneapolis. Their opposition to the amendment neutralizes the left's efforts to marginalize involvement of religious conservatives.

Then the Green Party, Libertarian Party and Independence Party of Minnesota.

The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits which tries to portray itself as nonpartisan.

And let's not forget the pro-abortion NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota.

And of course the Minnesota Atheists.

And then there's the labor unions. Minnesota AFL-CIO, MAPE, St. Paul Federation of Teachers, AFSCME-Minnesota Council 5, and SEIU. Here's a good reason for the public and union members to become disillusioned with organized labor. They're not just concerned with work place conditions and issues but promoting a leftist social agenda.

Who's on the other side of the issue? The majority of Minnesotans.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Morgan Freeman, Tea Party, and Herman Cain

Morgan Freeman the actor had some rather disparaging things to say about the Tea Party, accusing it of being a racist motivated bunch. Herman Cain the African American Republican candidate who's attempting to win the Republican nomination so he can unseat Obama basically came to the defense of the Tea Party in an interview on Fox News.

NEIL CAVUTO: Morgan Freeman, the actor, has been very critical of Tea Parties,and said that what they’re doing is racist based, and going after and unseating Obama has at its underpinnings racism. I’m paraphrasing here, but what do you make of that argument?

HERMAN CAIN: Well, first of all, I doubt if Morgan Freeman, with all due respect, who is a great actor, has he ever been to a Tea Party? Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Parties, Neil,about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party.

CAVUTO: But wait a minute, wait a minute. He has played, wait, wait,wait. He has played a President of the United States.

CAIN: Oh. Great, yeah, in a movie. This is real life out here on the campaign trail, man. This is not a movie.

CAVUTO: So, are you offended by that?

CAIN: No, I’m not offended by it. I just, I just think that it is sad that they’re so
short-sighted in really understanding what the whole Tea Party citizen movement is all about. I’m not offended by it, because it doesn’t slow down my momentum. It doesn’t slow down the reaction that I get from people. They know that I bring my message from the heart and the head, and they’re responding to it. So, name calling is something that’s going to continue in this because they don’t know how to stop this movement. And this movement is making a big difference in politics, because a lot of the traditional Democrats are moving to the center or moving over to vote for conservatives. They’re taking another look at a Herman Cain.

What's interesting about the Tea Party is it's anything but a party. It's a movement. Disparate Individuals brought together by their frustration over growing, intrusive government actions - the signature one being Obamacare.
By and large the movement is made up of middle class, patriotic, God fearing, working folks who don't like government encroaching on their freedoms.

The left and Hollywood is apoplectic because it threatens to derail their liberal agenda. Suggestions of racism, absent evidence, reveals what I think many liberal elite think about the average American.There's a strain of racism lurking not too far beneath the surface.

Herman Cain makes a good point; Morgan Freeman has probably had zero personal exposure to people involved with the Tea Party.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Political center is shifting to the right.

Here's an interesting article by William Galston, one time member of Clinton Administration and current policy person at left of center Brookings Institution.

He looks at the latest Pew Research poll on American's attitudes towards politics and the parties and the center has shifted dramatically from 2005 when the electorate tilted towards the democrats which I presume was Bush and Republican fatigue.

It's interesting how quickly the shift has gone the other direction.

In mid-2005, as disaffection with the Bush administration and the Republican Party was gathering momentum, the Pew Research Center asked American to place themselves and the political parties on a standard left-right ideological continuum. At that time, average voters saw themselves as just right of center and equidistant from the two political parties. Independents considered themselves twice as far away from the Republican Party as from the Democrats, presaging their sharp shift toward the Democrats in the 2006 mid-term election.

In August of this year, Pew posed a very similar question (note to survey wonks: Pew used a five-point scale, versus six in 2005), but the results were very different. Although average voters continue to see themselves as just right of center, they now place themselves twice as far away from the Democratic Party as from the Republicans. In addition, Independents now see themselves as significantly closer to the Republican Party, reversing their perceptions of six years ago.

There’s another difference as well. In 2005, Republicans’ and Democrats’views of their own parties dovetailed with the perceptions of the electorate as a whole. Today, while voters as a whole agree with Republicans’ evaluation of their party as conservative, they disagree with Democrats, who on average see their party as moderate rather than liberal. So when Independents, who see themselves as modestly right of center, say that Democrats are too liberal, average Democrats can’t imagine what they’re talking about.

The shift to self described conservatives is interesting.

Compounding the problem, the American people are gradually polarizing. According to Gallup, twenty years ago, as Bill Clinton began his presidential campaign,self-described moderates formed the plurality of the electorate—43 percent; conservatives were 36 percent, liberals 17 percent. By the summer of 2011, the conservative share had risen to 41 percent and liberals to 21 percent, while moderates declined to 36 percent, surrendering their plurality status to conservatives. Because nearly all conservatives now vote for Republicans and liberals for Democrats, the share of the shrinking pool of moderates that Democrats need to build a majority is now larger than ever.

The drop in public confidence in government is huge and could last a long time. I don't see us government restoring the public's confidence in its ability to solve society's problems any time soon - whether democrats or republicans are in office. Why? Government is incapable solving the intractible social problems facing society. Government can't be replicate a family though it can help provide an environment favorable to families and marriages. But that's much different than trying to take over the tasks of parents.

Another Gallup finding that should alert Democrats is the ongoing collapse of public confidence in government. A survey released earlier this week found that Americans now believe that the federal government wastes 51 cents of every dollar it spends, the highest estimate ever recorded. Twenty-five years ago, that figure stood at only 38 cents. While estimates of waste at the state and local level remain lower than for the federal level, they have also risen by double digits in recent decades.

Overall, it’s hard to avoid concluding that the ideological playing-field heading into 2012 is tilted against Democrats. This reality only deepens the strategic dilemma the White House now confronts. The conventional strategy for an incumbent is to secure the base before the general public gets fully engaged and then reach out to the swing voters whose decisions spell the difference between victory and defeat. By contrast, the Obama team spent most of 2011 in what turned out to be a failed effort to win over the Independent voters who deserted Democrats in droves last November, in the process alienating substantial portions of the base. To rekindle the allegiance and enthusiasm of core supporters, the president now finds himself having to draw sharp ideological lines, risking further erosion among Independents and even moderate Democrats. Tellingly, a number of at-risk Democratic senators up for reelection in 2012 have already refused to go along with key elements of the president’s recent proposals.

Granted, ideology isn’t everything. Political scientists have long observed that Americans are more liberal on particulars than they are in general—ideologically conservative but operationally liberal. (Surveys have shown majority support for most individual elements of the president’s jobs and budget packages.) And the Republicans could undermine their chances by nominating a presidential candidate who is simply too hard-edged conservative for moderates and Independents to stomach.

In the face of widespread skepticism and disillusion, it will be an uphill battle for Democrats to persuade key voting blocks that government can really make their lives better. But if they fail, the public will continue to equate public spending with waste, the anti-government message will continue to resonate, and Democrats will be in dire straits when heading into what is shaping up as a pivotal election.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Political correctness and homosexuality in a high school German class in Texas.

Here's an interesting example of the homosexual activism and intolerance of a German class teacher in Fort Worth, Texas. A 14 year old student was given an in school suspension for simply saying he believed homosexuality was wrong.
The teacher brought up the subject of homosexuality and the student commented to a fellow student that it's wrong. The result? The student, Dakota Ary, was given an in school suspension which the school quickly backed away from once the student's parent called an attorney.

Dakota was in a German class at the high school when the conversation shifted to religion and homosexuality in Germany. At some point during the conversation, he turned to a friend and said that he was a Christian and “being a homosexual is wrong.”

“It wasn’t directed to anyone except my friend who was sitting behind me,” Dakota told Fox.

“I guess [the teacher] heard me. He started yelling. He told me he was going to write me an infraction and send me to the office.”

Dakota was sentenced to one day in-school suspension – and two days of full suspension. His mother was flabbergasted, noting that her son had a spotless record, was an honor student, volunteered at his church and played on the school football team.

Officials at the high school did not return calls for comment. However, the Fort Worth Independent School District issued a statement that read:

“As a matter of course, Fort Worth ISD does not comment on specific employee or student-related issues. Suffice it to say that we are following district policy in our review of the circumstances and any resolution will likewise be in accordance with district policy.”

After a meeting with Pope and her attorney, the school rescinded the two-day suspension so Dakota would be allowed to play in an upcoming football game...

Krause called the incident “mind blowing” and said the teacher had frequently brought homosexuality into ninth grade classroom discussions.

“There has been a history with this teacher in the class regarding homosexual topics,” Krause said. “The teacher had posted a picture of two men kissing on a wall that offended some of the students.”

Krause said the picture was posted on the teacher’s “world wall.”

It looks like the teacher is the one with the ideological agenda. No wonder parents are concerned with homosexual activism in the classroom.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Consequence of redefining marriage -- loss of religious liberties

Here's a story which highlights the consequences of legalizing same sex marriage or giving marriage-like legal status for same sex couples - loss of freedoms for religious-based foster care providers which believe placing children in households headed up by a married man and woman is in the best interest of children.

Since Illinois passed a law creating same-sex civil unions this year, faith-based groups that place children into foster care homes have increasingly found themselves left out in the cold.

Last week, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) informed the Evangelical Child and Family Agency (ECFA) — a 61-year-old group that has been contracting with the state to place foster children in homes since 1965 — that its contract will not be renewed in the new fiscal year, since the agency won’t place kids with same-sex couples.

ECFA is one of several faith-based groups that have had to make such a choice this year. Like Lutheran Child and Family Services, ECFA’s policy is to only place foster children with married couples; another group announced this summer it would change its policy in order to continue contracting with the state. Catholic Charities has chosen to fight the matter in court, but has not met with success so far. The civil unions law took effect on June 1.

“They’re saying all agencies that contract with DCFS need to be an ‘agent of the state,’” said ECFA Executive Director Ken Withrow. “Til now, the understanding was that we would be partners with the state — in our case,recruiting evangelicals to become foster care parents.”

Though DCFS cited the state’s civil unions law to ECFA, Withrow said it’s just a cover.

“We tend to disagree with that, because the act says nothing in it will
interfere with religious organizations. They prefer only to contract with
secular agencies,” he explained.
Yes, there would be significant ramifications to redefining marriage in Minnesota.

Monday, September 19, 2011

New study points out importance of fathers being involved with kids - it benefits dads and society.

A recent news story on testosterone levels points to the impact of parenting in the lives of children.
Testosterone, that most male of hormones, takes a dive after a man becomes a parent. And the more he gets involved in caring for his children - changing diapers, jiggling the kid on his knee, reading "Goodnight Moon" for the umpteenth time - the lower his testosterone drops.

So says the first large study measuring testosterone in men when they were single and childless and several years after they had children. Experts say the research has implications for understanding the biology of fatherhood, hormone roles in men and even health issues like prostate cancer.

"The real take-home message," said Peter Ellison, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard not involved in the study, is that "male parental care is important. It's important enough that it's actually shaped the physiology of men."

"Unfortunately," he added, "I think American males have been brainwashed" to believe lower testosterone means that "maybe you're a wimp, that it's because you're not really a man. My hope would be that this kind of research has an impact on the American male. It would make them realize that we're meant to be active fathers and participate in the care of our offspring."....

"This is part of the guy being invested in the "This is part of the guy being invested in the marriage," said Carol Worthman, an anthropologist at Emory University in Atlanta who also was not involved in the study. Lower testosterone, she said, is the father's way of saying, " 'I'm here,I'm not looking around, I'm really toning things down so I can have good relationships.' What's great about this study is it lays it on the table that more is not always better. Faster, bigger, stronger - no, not always."

This study reminds me of George Gilder's book, "Men and Marriage" which talks of the civilizing influence of marriage and family in the lives of males. When those influences aren't present we get the fall out of males without responsibility in their lives. They're listless, directionless, and often drift into activities which aren't helpful for society.

More evidence on the importance of men being and staying married.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Marriage played important role in defeat of NYC democrat who supported same-sex "marriage"

Here's an interesting article showing the importance of the marriage issue in the defeat of the democrat congressional candidate in NYC. If it can impact the outcome of a race in NYC, it could have an even greater impact in more conservative legislative districts.
To win in a Democratic district, Turner needed Democratic votes. The two issues that seem to have helped drive some of the district's traditionally Democratic voters to cast their ballots for Turner were Obama's Israel policy and Weprin's vote for same-sex marriage. Former Democratic New York City mayor Ed Koch endorsed Turner primarily to send a message to Obama on
Israel. Democratic state senator Ruben Diaz backed Turner because of Weprin's vote on marriage.
Democratic state assemblyman Dov Hikind says both issues, as well as dissatisfaction with Obama's failed economic policies, were "overriding" factors that led him to support Turner.

"This is an underlying issue that is an extremely powerful issue," Hikind says of Weprin's vote for same-sex marriage. Weprin didn't merely vote for the bill. He got on the floor of the assembly and compared voting against same-sex marriage to "outlawing marriages between Jews and non-Jews or interracial marriages.”

"The fundamental message was 'I'm an orthodox Jew and gay marriage is perfectly fine,'" Hikind says of his Democratic colleague's speech. "To me, when he did that, he crossed every single line." Forty orthodox rabbis declared that orthodox Jews could not support Weprin.

"I can tell you this is a real serious issue among Jews, among orthodox Jews, among Catholics," Hikind says. A PPP poll from last week showed that 29% of voters in the district said marriage is "very important," and a plurality (45% to 41%) said same-sex marriage should be "illegal."

Friday, September 16, 2011

Good news and bad news on marriage.

The good news on marriage as Chuck Colson points out is divorce rates are down. The bad news is cohabitation rates are up. Why is that bad news? Because cohabitation is now the alternative in the minds of many to the lifelong commitment of marriage.

And what's wrong with cohabitation? The relationships are less stable and less healthy not only for the couple but also children living in a household headed up by cohabiting parents.

The health and well-being of individuals and society is dependent on the well-being of marriages.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Marriage Amendment on 2012 ballot in North Carolina

The North Carolina state Senate followed the action of their state House by voting to put on their statewide ballot in May of 2012 a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Minnesotans will be voting in November 2012 on a state constitutional marriage amendment. The action in North Carolina is another indication that there strong support for protecting marriage in various states. A Opinion Strategies poll in North Carolina found 61% of people "definitely for" the marriage amendment while only 23% were "definitely against" the amendment.

Passage of the amendments in Minnesota and North Carolina would bring the nationwide total to 32 states with state constitutional protections for marriage.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Marriage plays role in defeat of democrat candidate for Congress in NYC

In the upset victory by a Republican congressional candidate over the democrat candidate in a strongly democrat district, one issue which played a role was marriage. The democrat candidate David Weprin is a state legislator who voted in favor of redefining marriage in New York state earlier this year.

While voter discontent with President Obama's policies were a major concern, marriage did play a role.

The marriage issue will not go away.