Pa. Dems Troll PAGOP on Gay Marriage

Elephant Donkey boxingThe most entertaining conflict between Pa.’s biggest political parties happened Thursday on an email chain.

“Join the PAGOP in Supporting Gay Marriage,” read the subject heading in an email from the Pa. Democratic party’s press office. It went to a long list of social conservatives.

Pa. Republican Party Executive Director Bob Bozzuto was cc’ed. An unknown number of reporters was bcc’ed, PoliticsPA included.

“We were surprised to learn that the Pennsylvania Republican Party no longer opposes marriage equality,” the email read. It cited a PoliticsPA report about the PAGOP and its criticism of Attorney General Kathleen Kane. The party slammed Kane for refusing to defend the state’s ban on same sex marriage, but declined the chance to comment on the marriage issue itself.

“Now that the Pennsylvania Republican Party supports marriage equality, we urge you to join both of us in supporting it,” the Dems continued in the email. “Public opinion is clearly on our side, and now with both party’s support here it Pennsylvania, it the time to get on board and bring full equality to our Commonwealth.”

Same sex marriage opponents including the Pa. Family Institute, the Conservative Party of America, former state Rep. Sam Rohrer, and state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe among others received the email.

“Trolling” as defined by Urban Dictionary:

Trolling is trying to get a rise out of someone. Forcing them to respond to you, either through wise-crackery, posting incorrect information, asking blatantly stupid questions, or other foolishness. However, trolling statements are never true or are ever meant to be construed as such. Nearly all trolled statements are meant to be funny to some people, so it does have some social/entertainment value.

Bozzuto replied directly to the party in an email that did not cc reporters, “Pennsylvania law is clear as is the GOP platform. Not clear if Kathleen Kane has read the constitution. We can send one over.”

The Pa. Dems again sent Bozzuto’s response to social conservatives and reporters, and once again challenged him on same sex marriage.

After realizing that the exchange was being surreptitiously shared, Bozzuto responded in kind – and bcc’ed the PAGOP press list.

“Let me be clear: the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, as stated clearly in our platform, supports traditional marriage,” Bozzuto said.

“Not only have you embarrassed yourselves by attempting to mischaracterize the Republican Party’s clear position on the issue of marriage, you are also using this issue to blatantly avoiding having to discuss Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s inability to find a Constitution with two hands and a flashlight.”

“Also, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party has also been silent on what we have revealed to be Kathleen Kane’s shameless and stunning hypocrisy. While sparring with Patrick Murphy in last year’s Democratic primary for Attorney General, Kathleen Kane told Murphy that he can’t ‘pick and choose’ which laws to enforce. I am sure you have seen our video, but I am curious why you have remained silent on its message.”

The Dems didn’t respond to that one. It is the end of the chain – for now.

14 Responses

  1. Thе concept оf “traditional marriage” bеing defined аѕ оnе mаn аnd оnе woman iѕ historically inaccurate. Givеn thе prevalence оf modern аnd ancient examples оf family arrangements based оn polygamy, communal child-rearing, thе uѕе оf concubines аnd mistresses аnd thе commonality оf prostitution, heterosexual monogamy саn bе considered “unnatural” in evolutionary terms.

  2. Marriage equality is analogous to civil rights for people of color. It is a basic human right to pair-bond in whatever fashion is chosen. Anything else is bigotry on behalf of those conservatives who oppose it, and is nothing more. Oh, of course the self-important bigots will claim that anyone who even mentions bigotry is somehow being bigoted themselves, but look at the rightwing ideology as a whole: oppose Affirmative Action, oppose Voting Rights Act, oppose Roe vs. Wade, oppose repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, oppose Minimum Wage, oppose SNAP, oppose Separation of Church and State… basically, they oppose EVERYTHING that does not benefit rich white hetero (pseudo)Christian males who have money. That’s not my assessment, that’s the observable reality.
    Gay marriage is a DONE DEAL. Let me restate that in a way the extreme right can understand: Your “freedom” to keep people under your thumb is no longer in effect, you are a criminal minority, and America is rolling right over top of you. I hope you feel the full weight of “oppression” as your “freedoms” are taken from you by the wheels of democracy. Black people have rights. Women have rights. Other religions have rights. POOR PEOPLE VOTE. Get over yourselves and get used to it, and stop using the Confederacy as an ideological model. They lost the Civil War for a reason.
    On an unrelated note, I noticed the PAGOP use of a phrase I myself turned here a year or so ago: “either hand and a flashlight.” As a registered Independent and actual free-thinker, it’s always flattering when the less-creatively-abled attempt to co-opt an original phrase… and shows their angst at the ineffectiveness of their current messaging.
    I know rightwingers never feel the need to thank anyone, but… you’re welcome.

  3. Libs never see their own hypocrisy in the mirror. Everyone else sees it.

    You just got trolled.

  4. Brother Number 3,
    Call me what you like. I don’t consider myself a bigot or hypocrite.

    The idea that after gay marriage is legalized, polygamy will be next—and then bestiality and legal unions between lawn mowers and volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica and so on—is one of the main arguments that social conservatives trot out to “defend traditional marriage.” (It’s right up there with “Think of the children!” and “the Bible says…”)

    You are either the best troll I’ve ever met, or someone who just really loves his brother.

  5. Yours is a bigot’s response, and here’s why–you discriminate between the love individuals have in different committed relationships. You say that my love for my brothers should not be given the same respect under the law.
    You seem to differ from everyone else who makes an equal protection argument for same-sex marriage. They would support marriage between 3 brothers so as to not be hypocritical. But, you’ve now clearly outed yourself as a bigot.

  6. Brother Number 3,

    No, I do not support marriage between three brothers. No, it is not a bigot’s response. AND NO, it has nothing to do with same sex marriage, and in your case, the slippery slope!

    The slippery slope arguments against marriage equality make sense only if gay and lesbian marriages are analogous to bigamy, polygamy, incest, and bestiality. They are not. Same-sex marriage differs from the other forms of marriage some people fear, and those other forms of marriage differ from one another. So the question of whether to allow marriages irrespective of age, family status or number of partners involves issues different from the question of whether to allow same-sex marriage, and an argument in favor of the latter is not an argument in favor of any of the former.

    The historical record bears this out. Countries and states that have legalized same sex-marriage have not subsequently legalized polygamy, bigamy or sibling marriages.

    Why is that? Polygamy provides an illustration. One can make numerous arguments against polygamy that have no connection to arguments about same-sex marriage. A society might determine, for example, that polygamy should be illegal because it is tied to abuse of women, statutory rape and incest, and that same sex-marriage should be legal because it confers none of these problems and a host of benefits.

    Even if one makes arguments for polygamy that are related to arguments about same-sex marriage, that does not condemn us to a slippery slope. A society might determine, for example, that anti-polygamy laws disfavor one particular family structure and thus cause unfair treatment of those within that structure. This logic might lead to acceptance of polygamy, but that will not happen because we have legalized gay marriage; it will happen if we decide the logic applies to marriages with multiple partners. Polygamy and same-sex marriage are independent issues.

    Slope could go in different direction
    To affirm marriage equality does entail rejection of a traditional standard that some perceive to be absolute. But rejection of that standard does not mean we “would have to accommodate everyone’s varying definitions of marriage.” If we’re going to presume a slippery slope, we might presume it slides in the other direction: If we continue to allow our government to prohibit gay and lesbian people from marriage, why could it not prohibit marriage between people with sexually transmitted diseases or people with mental illnesses or people of different races?

  7. Nice job avoiding the issue.
    Do you support marriage between 3 loving brothers or not?
    If not, please explain why that isn’t a bigot’s response. You cannot.

  8. BJ, I’m not worried about those dense people. You can’t change idiocy.

    Brother Number 3, it’s not surprising you didn’t understand a word I wrote. I don’t direct my opinions and facts to those who can only read primers.

  9. Ryan wants me to be able to marry my two other brothers. Or he’s a bigot. There’s no middle ground by his logic.

  10. Good job Ryan. I’m sure your long, long comment has changed the mind of PoliticsPA readers, who are renowned for forming opinions based on Internet comments of those they disagree with.

  11. To the GOP:

    Please read and come on over to the right side of history. You are seriously jeopardizing your party, and each and every election, you are losing more and more young voters, women, and minority voters. When will you wake up? You lost me a long time ago!

    The Top 10 Arguments Against Gay Marriage: All Receive Failing Grades!

    Both in the U.S.A. and internationally the marriage equality movement is gaining momentum. Accordingly, more and more people are starting to acknowledge the flawed nature of all arguments which oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. This article discusses 10 of the most common positions presented by opponents of marriage equality and outlines why each deserves a failing grade.

    1. Nature: “It’s Not Natural” (FAIL)

    The most basic argument presented by gay marriage opponents purports that marriage between two people of the same sex is “not natural” and is in violation of the “natural order.” At this level of the debate there is very little exploration of the inherent validity (or otherwise) of same-sex marriage but rather a fixation on the notion that homosexuality is unnatural: “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” the opponents quip. In reality, marriage is a societal institution. The natural world didn’t create marriage, humans did. Nature-themed arguments against gay marriage say little about the societal institution of marriage but reveal a lot about the homophobia and heterosexism of those who present such arguments. In this regard, the disapproval isn’t about gay marriage per se — it’s more about discomfort with homosexuality, period.

    2. Procreation: “Marriage is for Procreation” (FAIL)

    With the procreation argument, opponents of equality argue that the institution of marriage is essentially in place to assist with procreation and the raising of children. They reason that because two people of the same sex cannot procreate that they should not be allowed to marry. While the production of children may indeed be a feature of many heterosexual marriages the capacity to procreate does not determine the legal validity of such marriages. There are many married straight couples who cannot biologically have children or who choose not to. The procreation argument ignores the fact that people marry for a wide range of reasons unrelated to procreation including love, friendship and companionship.

    3. Religion: “It’s Against My Religion” (FAIL)

    Christianity-based arguments lead the way in efforts to oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage in America. References to the Bible, the “sinful” nature of homosexuality, and “religious beliefs” are regularly made by those who seek to rationalize their support of discrimination via religion. Marriage is a religious institution, they argue, and not one for society to tamper with. Given that the U.S.A. is a secular nation, religion should play no role in any discussion about civil and societal laws. In order to legally marry there is absolutely no requirement for a religious ceremony to be held. In this sense, marriage is not a religious institution but a socio-legal one governed by the state. Religious beliefs about marriage should never be enshrined in laws in ways that restrict the freedom of others who do not share those beliefs.

    4. Redefinition: “You’re Trying to Redefine the Institution” (FAIL)

    Opponents argue that marriage has always been between a man and a woman and that it should stay that way. They say that efforts to legalize same-sex marriage will fundamentally alter the institution for the worse. History reveals, however, that marriage laws in the U.S.A. and in countries across the globe have been modified repeatedly in response to evolving cultural norms. There was a time when women were the legal property of their husbands. There was a time when a man and a woman of different races couldn’t marry each other. There was even a time when not one country in the world had legalized same-sex marriage! Removing discrimination from the institution of marriage does not redefine “marriage” — it simply makes the institution more accessible and reflects the evolution of society.

    5. Sanctity: “It’s a Threat to the Sanctity of (Opposite-Sex) Marriage” (FAIL)

    With roots in religion, the sanctity argument posits that marriage is a “sacred” institution that only heterosexual couples should have access to. Allowing same-sex couples to marry apparently poses a “threat” to “traditional marriage” as though somehow heterosexual married couples will all be at risk of divorcing when two people of the same sex marry each other. If those who use the “sanctity” argument were genuinely concerned about the institution of marriage they’d focus their efforts on helping those straight married couples who are at risk of divorcing. If marriage was so “sacred” they’d also be pursuing the outlawing of heterosexual divorce. They do neither of these things. The only married straight couples impacted by the legalization of gay marriage are those in which one of the parties is a closet-case gay person who dreams of coming out and marrying someone of the same sex!

    6. Children: “It Will Harm the Children” (FAIL)

    Opponents of equality frequently make use of flawed research studies to insinuate that allowing same-sex couples to marry will somehow harm children. They argue that children need a “mom and a dad” in order to flourish in life and that legalizing same-sex marriage denies children this opportunity of “normalcy.” Multiple studies across the social sciences have repeatedly demonstrated that there is no difference in psychosocial outcomes between children raised by opposite-sex couples and those raised by same-sex couples. There is no evidence that children are psychologically harmed by having two dads or two moms. The American Psychological Association (APA), the American Sociological Association (ASA), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has each endorsed the legalization of same-sex marriage and its capacity to provide a stable familial framework for children.

    7. Reverse Discrimination: “Religious People Will Be Discriminated Against” (FAIL)

    Some opponents of marriage equality describe a future in which religious people become the new “victims” of oppression. They talk of charity-based religious organizations being “forced out of business” for “sticking to their beliefs” about marriage. In this reverse scenario, gay people are apparently “hateful” for wanting to be treated equally in society. How dare we demand equal rights and criticize those who discriminate against us! In no state of the U.S.A. in which gay marriage is legal is a church legally required to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. Religious groups and churches are still free to pick and choose who they will and won’t marry. Organizations that receive public money, however, and which must adhere to anti-discrimination laws, should rightly be challenged if they engage in discrimination against a protected class of people.

    8. Slippery Slope: “It Will Lead to Marriage Involving Animals, Siblings, Children, or Groups of People!” (FAIL)

    Slippery slopes arguments suggest that legalizing gay marriage will serve as a “gateway” for the legalization of marriage involving animals, siblings, children, or groups of people. People who present these scenarios portray a catastrophic future with society crumbling under the weight of rampant immorality and social discord. Efforts to legalize same-sex marriage, however, simply aim to provide same-sex couples with equal access to marriage laws — there is no intention to change the fundamental definition of marriage as the legal union between two adult human beings who have no direct biological connection with each other. Facts are useful in this regard: of the fifteen countries and 12 U.S. states that have legalized same-sex marriage, none of them has subsequently legalized marriage involving animals, children, siblings, or groups of people.

    9. Civil Unions: “Civil Unions Are Good Enough” (FAIL)

    Some opponents of same-sex marriage support the creation of a “separate but equal” platform in which straight couples and gay couples receive the same relationship rights and benefits, but from within different institutional frameworks. They argue that “marriage” should be left exclusively for opposite-sex couples and that same-sex couples should be granted “civil unions.” History has demonstrated that this “separate but equal” approach doesn’t work. Various countries and American states which initially permitted “civil unions” for same-sex couples have subsequently enacted marriage equality legislation. These jurisdictions have pursued such changes because civil union legislation, no matter how valiant the effort, is not able to provide the same rights and benefits as legal marriage. In essence, having a two-class system continues to maintain the erroneous notion that one group (straight people) is more superior to another group (LGBT people).

    10. States’ Rights: “States Have the Right to Oppose It” (FAIL)

    This position stresses that states have a constitutional right to make their own decisions about the legalization of same-sex marriage which may include banning it. Ironically, most advocates of this argument also support the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law which allows the federal government to deny more than one thousand federal rights and benefits to same-sex couples legally married at the state level. The maintenance of a system which allows some states to recognize same-sex marriage and others not to, and which allows the federal government to ignore legal same-sex marriages performed at the state level, sets up a cumbersome and extremely complicated national map of unequal rights and legal nightmares. Those who support a “states’ rights” approach to same-sex marriage should at least be consistent and drop their support of a federal government act (DOMA) which essentially tramples states’ rights.

    Conclusion: Marriage Equality is the Future — Embrace it!

    There is no logical or reasonable basis for denying same-sex couples access to secular marriage laws. Opposing the inevitable (marriage equality) is a waste of time, money and energy. I urge all of those who oppose gay marriage to start focusing on their own lives, to accept that they don’t need to marry a person of the same sex, and to recognize the right of all Americans to be treated equally under the law: “liberty and justice for all” should not come with a disclaimer.

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