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View Diary: Hello Again Daily Kos, I'm Mary, Jeff Merkley's Wife (182 comments)

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  •  Changing minds (21+ / 0-)

    I live in Portland and have been convincing many of my friends to vote for Jeff.  Many of them voted for Gordon Smith last time around - their arguments tend to be that he is responsive to his constituents and is supportive of gay issues.  Fortunately, their are so many arguments on Jeff's side, that the majority seem to be deciding to go Democratic all the way this election.  Thanks for all your hard work!

    •  Re: supportive of gay rights (10+ / 0-)

      You might want to let people know the following when they say Smith is supportive of gay rights:

      Smith proposed hate crime legislation, but he has not been an effective enough Senator to get it passed.

      Smith endorsed Measure 36, which passed in 2004, and changed the OR constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman

      Smith supported anti-gay activist Leslie Southwick's lifetime appointment to the federal bench.

      (h/t to BlueOregon)

      So really, Smith is not supportive of gay rights, just supportive of the idea of hate crimes legislation.  Now where do you think Merkley stands on the issue? :-)

      Reality has a strong liberal bias.

      by negev79 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:36:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  where merkley stands (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        is hard to say, because he stands by comments in 2004 that marriage should be between a couple and God, not government--which makes it awfully hard to be for gay marriage at the same time.'s Progressive Community

        by torridjoe on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:45:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh come on Joe! (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kaj, Carla, Vico, JayBat, 4Freedom, alkalinesky

          I get it, you wanted Novick to win. Novick is super progressive, etc. But Merkley's stand on gay issues is, no matter how you look at it, superior to Gordon Smith's. So why the comment? Because there is some alleged murkiness over the civil unions v. marriage issue? Basic Rights Oregon has endorsed Merkley. So if your only issue is that you want someone who will say unequivocally that marriage is the way to go, and you don't think Jeff has done that, then don't vote for him.

          Reality has a strong liberal bias.

          by negev79 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:50:00 PM PDT

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          •  the question was asked (0+ / 0-)

            the commenter I was replying to specifically wondered what Merkley's position was, that's why the comment. And there's no "alleged" murkiness; he was asked three times in a row to reconcile two irreconcilable positions, and could not.

            Basic Rights endorsed Merkley, but last time they endorsed SMITH. So that tells you how reliable BRO is about supporting the most progressive candidate on gay rights issues. They're rather like Planned Parenthood endorsing Chaffee in 06.

            Still voting for him, but Merkley deserves the pressure on this.

  's Progressive Community

            by torridjoe on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 01:56:17 PM PDT

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            •  actually (0+ / 0-)

              let me correct myself. I was thinking of HRC who endorsed Smith. I don't have confirmation on what BRO did, and actually I think they simply chose not to endorse. Sorry for the confusion. But given the choice of endorsing the one who stated it clearly and unequivocally on their website, or choosing the person who'd rubbed their backs in the past, they didn't make an endorsement based on the strength of the candidate's  committment.

    's Progressive Community

              by torridjoe on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 02:01:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  the commenter was me (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kaj, Carla, JayBat, SLCdon, kyril

              And my question was "where do you think Merkley stands on the issue [of gay rights]" not just gay marriage, though that is the biggie. And I meant in comparison to Smith. I wasn't wondering - I know the answer. Merkley is a heck of a lot better choice when it comes to gay rights. From the BRO endorsement:

              "Jeff Merkley has been a strong ally on issues important to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community," said Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Jeana Frazzini. "As House Speaker, Jeff led the charge on passing Oregon’s domestic partnership law, giving committed couples the legal recognition they need to care for one another in a crisis. And he championed a nondiscrimination law ensuring that no one in Oregon can lose their home or be fired from their job just because they are gay or lesbian. We need a fighter like Jeff Merkley in the U.S. Senate ."

              And of course you should keep up the pressure if you think Merkley doesn't do well on an issue. I think he would certainly be more open to listening to the opinions of his constituents than Smith has been. My understanding though is that Merkley does support marriage equality and the repeal of DOMA. I know you disagree that is his position, or think he is lying, but on that you and I can agree to disagree.  

              Reality has a strong liberal bias.

              by negev79 on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 02:10:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  better than Smith a low bar (0+ / 0-)

                there shouldn't be a Dem outside the deep south who can NOT be for non-discrim and civil unions, so I don't give candidates much credit for that position. That he's better than Smith should be a given. I don't know if a repeal would pass, but m36 would fail if it came up this time. We need leaders committed to reversing 36, LEADING their constituents on the issue. Hopefully Merkley will catch up soon.

                Thanks for the reply.  

      's Progressive Community

                by torridjoe on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 02:27:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Jeff has consistently stated.. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kaj, kyril, negev79

                  ...that he is for gay marriage. He's also consistently stated that he would vote for the repeal of DOMA.  This has been discussed over and over and over--and Jeff is on the record ON VIDEO, saying so.

                  While I strongly disagree with M36, it passed only 4 years ago..and by 57%. It wasn't even close.  Its folly to bring it up and beat it now..especially when it will do nothing but piss a bunch of voters off.

                  I strongly doubt that it would fail if it were brought back to the voters right now. Oregonians get very cranky when you put things back on the ballot that they've already put into law in order to repeal them. Witness Death With Dignity.

                  It will take awhile before the issue of gay marriage can be revisited through the ballot box in Oregon, IMO.

                  •  you can say anything (0+ / 0-)

                    Under that standard, we must believe that Obama wants to tax people making $42,000, because McCain has said so consistently, ON VIDEO. Simply saying so doesn't make it so, especially when it contradicts something else the person said, and continues to stand by.

                    I also didn't say anything about wanting Merkley to fight for repeal immediately. But I can find not a single record of him speaking out against M36 when it was being considered, and in fact the only statement I find concerning it, is his "couple and God" line from that same year. Clearly, I think, he was hedging his bets. Which is all fine and good politically, but then to say in response to the question that he's ALWAYS been in favor of gay marriage, strains credulity.

                    As for whether M36 would fail, I think there's little question. For one thing, Democrats have a much larger advantage than they did in 2004. More importantly, attitudes towards gay marriage are softer than just four years ago, and multiple states have begun offering them without the fires of hell being visited upon us. And 57% represented the lowest passing percentage of any of the states that had it on the ballot in 2004, so comparing Oregon to the rest of the country indicates that the sentiment against SSM is far weaker here than elsewhere.

          's Progressive Community

                    by torridjoe on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 04:23:59 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  So no matter how many times Merkley... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kyril, negev79

                      ...says he's for gay marriage, (and its been multiple times), you won't believe it.  That's your choice, but it's not especially honest to keep hounding something that's already been repeatedly answered.

                      I strongly disagree that putting M36 on the ballot now would yield a reversal.  While Dems have a much larger advantage with registrations now, there's no evidence that I've seen that demonstrates there's a willingness by the Oregon electorate to revisit the issue.  That says a lot.  

                      And 57% is a pretty big margin for a social issue like this in Oregon.  This state is very divided ideologically, and its only been 4 years.  Revisiting it now is stupid..and could set us back even further.

                      Frankly, M36 would never have been an issue if Diane Linn hadn't arbitrarily decided that gay marriages could be performed in Mult. Co.  She pushed too far...and its an important object lesson.  

          •  Merkley is for gay marriage (8+ / 0-)

            and happens to be one of the most progressive candidates running for Congress. We have a HUGE opportunity in Oregon, but we need help!!! The new Rasmussen poll out shows we're TIED. So, I hope my fellow Kossacks will consider donating and/or volunteering to help send a strong-willed progressive to the Senate!

            Netroots Director for Oregon Senate Candidate Jeff Merkley. Kossacks Donate to Merkley Here!

            by sarahlane on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 02:20:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  God loves gay marriage. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, Jacob Bartle, negev79

          "...marriage should be between a couple and God, not government--which makes it awfully hard to be for gay marriage at the same time."

          No, it doesn't.

          Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism. - Rocky Anderson

          by SLCdon on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 02:05:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Merkley is for gay marriage (7+ / 0-)

            he's stated his position in interviews with WW and even in papers in smaller towns like Roseburg. Jeff also fought hard to pass domestic partnerships and pass anti-discrimination legislation.

            Netroots Director for Oregon Senate Candidate Jeff Merkley. Kossacks Donate to Merkley Here!

            by sarahlane on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 02:18:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  WW was where he equivocated (0+ / 0-)

              The WW interview was where he stumbled on the question, and said that the word marriage really wasn't important to people, and you could take it away and it really wouldn't matter. Which is of course preposterous.

    's Progressive Community

              by torridjoe on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 04:26:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sarahlane, kyril, negev79

                He didn't stumble on the question. They asked him if he was for gay marriage and Jeff immediately said "yes".  Then they asked about the "God and couple" statement..and Jeff firmly explained why he believe his support for gay marriage is completely compatible with what he said previously.

                Continuing to bring up an issue that's been repeatedly asked an answered because you're still unhappy about the outcome of the primary is silly.  

          •  yes it does (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not sure what the point of your link is. I'm well aware that some churches perform same sex rites. But many do not--and saying that marriage is between a couple and their God, ignores the entire civil profile of marriage. If marriage is left to churches, many gays would not be allowed to marry. Government MUST be involved for true civil equality to be achieved.

  's Progressive Community

            by torridjoe on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 04:18:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not arguing that point. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              The point I'm making is that you've come to a faulty conclusion based on the statement you cited.  Just because someone says "marriage should be between a couple and God" that doesn't mean they are necessarily against gay marriage.

              The argument Merkley made is really a libertarian one:  government shouldn't be in the marriage business at all.  I happen to disagree as I can plainly discern the difference between civil marriage and religious marriage and I believe our   government(s) plainly can as well.

              So, I guess the purpose of making this point is to say that rather than dissing on Merkley in a somewhat backhanded way (by saying he doesn't support gay marriage), maybe you should try arguing against the merits of the argument he actually made with that comment.

              Blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism. - Rocky Anderson

              by SLCdon on Fri Oct 17, 2008 at 10:09:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I think the God I address would be more concerned (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, Jacob Bartle

          that the couple be committed to each other than that the couple have a gender definition.

          10/03/08 = America's economic 9/11

          by 4Freedom on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 02:41:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  good luck being a Gay Southern Baptist, then (0+ / 0-)

            you don't get to pick what your God is concerned about for you, in that sect.

  's Progressive Community

            by torridjoe on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 04:25:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gay marriage legislation (0+ / 0-)

              wouldn't force Southern Baptists to marry gay couples, so I don't see where you can possibly be going with that line of argument.

              My position on the issue is that it would be really nice to sort of do what some EU countries have done and completely separate the religious and civil aspects of marriage.

              Everybody who wants to get married in the future (this wouldn't affect currently-married couples) would fill out some minor paperwork at City Hall with some witnesses, pay a minimal fee for the processing of the paperwork, and at that moment be granted all of the civil rights and obligations that have traditionally applied to married couples. Call that process whatever you like - civil union, betrothal, blarplefitz, I don't care. The only requirement for this process should be that the participants are consenting adults.

              "Marriage" of the religious, ceremonial, and/or social variety could then be performed by anybody - a minister, a family friend, a random guy on the street, the couple themselves simply by declaring themselves "married" - because it would have no legal implications. Churches could go on marrying whomever they choose with no state entanglement whatsoever. Groups endorsing polygamy, polyandry, line marriages, no-divorce policies, and other controversial practices would be free to perform such ceremonies, under the understanding that the resulting relationships would have no special legal standing. Churches that refuse to marry same-sex couples would only be under pressure to change those policies if that pressure came from their own membership's desire to have such unions blessed by the church - that desire wouldn't be conflated with the desire for simple civil rights under the law.

              I don't want "separate but equal," and I don't think the church should be involved in something so completely secular as a person's legal status in the tax code. Civil unions for all, and marriage for those who want it.

              During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. - George Orwell

              by kyril on Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 06:33:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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