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Question Are state same-sex marriage policies associated with a reduction in adolescent suicide attempts?

Findings This difference-in-differences analysis of representative data from 47 states found that same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 7% reduction in the proportion of all high school students reporting a suicide attempt within the past year. The effect was concentrated among adolescents who were sexual minorities.

Meaning Same-sex marriage policies are associated with reduced adolescent suicide attempts.

(Raifman, et al.)

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Ramirez, Lowry, Alito: The Speed Bump Trio


Michael Ramirez* on last week’s marriage equality arguments before the Supreme Court:
Shotgun Wedding
I suppose the shotgun wedding is an obvious punch line; it has percolated for a few days.

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Ignorance of History


“Does the House Report say that? Of course, the House Report says that.”

Paul Clement

Chief Justice John RobertsThere really is no point in gloating, fretting, or prognosticating about what we’ve heard from the Supreme Court this week. Indeed, even Justice Scalia—the Great Grumpus Cat of the Supreme Court—can still surprise, and when weighing his homophobia in a tax fight, it’s hard to figure which way he’ll go.

Still, though, Chief Justice John Roberts provided an interesting, tangential branch in the discussion that some have noted.

Ryan Grim summarizes, for Huffington Post:

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Wednesday reacted incredulously to the notion that members of the Senate or the U.S. president may have been motivated to pass the Defense of Marriage Act by animus or moral objection to gay and lesbian couples. It was a window into his apparent belief that the U.S. is simply not a place burdened by such things as bigotry or racism.

When I read about Roberts’ remarks, I thought of a conservative associate who has a similar argumentative style; it is almost as if history doesn’t exist. It is a problem in our public discourse. Two people who are reasonably educated about history can have a thoughtful discussion about historical issues; it’s not the same, though, if one has to spend the whole time reminding the other of what is actually in the historical record. Obviously, the Chief Justice isn’t the only one; listen to how many educated pundits and analysts can’t seem to think back to recent history.

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Today in Talking Points: Special Valentine’s Day edition


A special Valentine’s Day edition of Today in Talking Points:

    Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire celebrates after signing marriage equality into state law.  February 13, 2012.  Photo by J. Trujillo/SeattlePI.com

  • Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire signed marriage equality into law on Monday. The Evergreen State is the seventh to recognize and allow gay marriage.
  • The Washington Secretary of State’s Office has revised its designation of the ballot referendum against marriage equality after mistakenly assigning it a number already used.
  • Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum faced protests as he denounced Washington’s marriage equality law during an appearance in Tacoma.
  • New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is next up in the gay marriage debate. He intends to veto a bill establishing gay marriage in the Garden State, despite public opinion in favor.
  • Abbie Goldberg and Katherine A. Kuvalanka published an article on marriage equality for the Journal of Marriage and Family. Much of the February issue of JMF is dedicated to considering marriage.
  • Columnist and poet Michael Kindt considers one of the studies published in the February JMF, about marriage and cohabitation.
  • What is more romantic on Valentine’s Day than rape? Well, okay, that might seem a bit crude, but FOX News commentator Liz Trotta is suffering the slings and arrows of politics and general decency after arguing that women entering the military should expect to be sexually assaulted.
  • Meanwhile, in Uganda, one Simon Lokodo, the Minister for Ethics and Integrity, raided a gay rights workshop in Entebbe. Workshop organizer Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera reportedly escaped the raid and is still at large. Ugandan MPs are once again trying to increase legal penalties for being homosexual, though the death penalty is expected to be dropped from the bill.
  • Two Catholic priests in Colombia are dead after allegedly hiring their own hitmen. Reports suggest one of the priests had contracted HIV, but relatives insist that the murders were part of an armed roberry, and Frs. Richard Piffano and Rafael Reatiga were not involved in a homosexual relationship.

Ken Hutcherson: The face of bigotry


The “Prayer Warrior”, Pastor Ken Hutcherson, testified before the Washington state House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Monday, in opposition to marriage equality. The video is making its way around the internet, so here is a transcript:

The face of bigotryI am Pastor Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church; I’ve been a pastor for quite some time—been black for a lot longer than that. I was born and raised in Alabama, where blacks and whites didn’t get along very well, and I tried to be one of the main reasons they didn’t. I was extremely discriminatory toward whites. The only reason I played football, so I could hurt white people legally.

The problem is that you guys keep throwing up to us that this is a civil rights issue. There’s nothing civil rights about this. Nothing. It is not protected by the Constitution. And you’re throwing up in front of us over and over again that you should not allow the people to vote for this because it’s just not right for a civil rights issue. Well, you’re trying to make it a civil rights issue, but it isn’t. It’s not protected by the Constitution. The reason why the civil rights for me was taken to the Congress and not the people was because it was protected by the Constitution. So the people did not have a right to go against the Constitution unless the people voted to change the Constitution.

And it hasn’t been changed yet.

It is so important for you to understand that what you are asking me to do as an African-American, is accept what you’re going through because you’re uncomfortable. Not because you’re persecuted. Not because you’re hung in great numbers simply because of your color. I was born black. I am black. Gonna die black. And even Michael Jackson couldn’t get out of being black. So you gotta understand when you try to throw those things at me it does not hit. Does not hit at all. As a matter of fact, it’s kind of disturbing and very upsetting.

Upsetting because, you know, you talk about love, you talk about wanting that family and everything else, and you talk about the children. You know what? I got half-black kids. They’re worse than all-black kids, ’cause they’re discriminated against just as much. And you have passed laws that make sure if there’s any black in any kid, they’re considered African American even though I got married to the whitest white woman in the world.

So let’s do what’s right for kids. I would never bring my kids into a situation—if I love my kids—how you have berated your kids in front for emotional response—and Representative Pedersen, you are the worst. You brought four kids in here, and they was devastated. Hopefully they was devastated because they was in here, and not because they act that way all the time. But yet still it isn’t about the children. It isn’t about marriage. It is about you. And it is about you wanting your way, and you’ll use whatever and whoever you can to get it.

So I think this board should be absolutely ashamed of how you’re allowing kids to be used for an adult reason.

Thank you very much.

Obviously, there are some issues one might pick with Hutcherson’s argument, but this man is the face and voice of the heterosupremacist movement in the Evergreen State, so it’s probably best to just let him speak for himself.

Personal indulgence


So, yeah, congratulations to Mexico City, and all, on the whole gay marriage thing. And, look … I know. Really. I do. But I can’t help myself.

“We are so happy,” said Temistocles Villanueva, a 23-year-old film student who celebrated by passionately kissing his boyfriend outside the city’s assembly.

Because “Temistocles Villanueva” is probably the coolest name I’ve heard all year. No, really, just … say it to yourself a couple times.

Temistocles Villanueva.

Temistocles Villanueva.

Temistocles Villanueva.

Say it three times fast.

Okay, I’m done now.

Paul Reiser, Greg Evigan, and Staci Keanan in My Two Dads“They have given Mexicans the most bitter Christmas,” said Armando Martinez, the president of the College of Catholic Attorneys. “They are permitting adoption (by gay couples) and in one stroke of the pen have erased the term ‘mother’ and ‘father.'”

And, really, I thought it was the gays who were supposed to be melodramatic to make you cringe. Come on, Señor Martinez. Didn’t you ever see Greg Evigan and Paul Reiser in My Two Dads? Quite obviously, gay marriage isn’t the worst thing in the world for a child.