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Just like John Kerry, Russ Feingold was one of only 14 senators to oppose the Defense of Marriage Act signed into law by President Clinton in 1996.  Unlike Senator Kerry, Russ Feingold represents a very purple state. Opposing this bill was a very courageous move on his part.  Russ Feingold has also been a strong critic of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military - not because the policy goes too far, but because it does not go far enough.  As is the case when being asked about his presidential ambitions, Russ Feingold has been noticeably evasive when asked about his specific position on gay marriage - until today.

Today Russ Feingold issued a press release supporting the
right of gays and lesbians to marry.

Senator Feingold at one of his listening sessions this past weekend in Paddock Lake, WI:  

"As I said at the Kenosha County listening session, gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry and have access to the same rights, privileges and benefits that straight couples currently enjoy," Feingold added. "Denying people this basic American right is the kind of discrimination that has no place in our laws, especially in a progressive state like Wisconsin. The time has come to end this discrimination and the politics of divisiveness that has become part of this issue."

I have to admit that I was kind of surprised by the timing of this announcement.  Russ is already facing a lot of heat for his censure proposal.  Does this send a signal that Russ Feingold is definitely launching a presidential bid?  Or does this bold stance mean Russ is actually less inclined to run for president?  What kind of impact will that have if Russ does indeed decide to run?

Originally posted to whodat527 on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:04 PM PDT.

Poll

Do you support gay marriage?

96%185 votes
3%6 votes

| 191 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  sucks (0+ / 0-)

    I know, but diaried very recently today.

  •  Likely Fair Wisconsin related... (4+ / 0-)

    It's rather a big issue here in Wisconsin right now with the upcoming election with a ban for both gay marriage and civil unions on the ballot.

    I'd gather he's doing his part for Fair Wisconsin which encourages people to go out and talk rationally with their communities on the topic.

    •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prima

      And today we have local elections, so with people already thinking about voting...

      I'm waiting to see how all the local referenda regarding withdrawing troops from Iraq went.

      Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978. -7.63, -5.64

      by wiscmass on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:30:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        liberal atheist, wiscmass

        I think it's too easy to immediately cast aspirations on Russ' decisions...whether they have a grand plan to the White House (aside: Which I tend to not believe he's motivated by) or maybe just maybe have more to do with the battles that need to be fought right in the state he serves.

        This is definately one in regards to our state.

      •  I'm voting in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prima, wiscmass

        Shorewood against the war and it feels fucking great. Once these pass it will be hard for Wisconsinites to claim that it is only the wackos in Milwaukee and Madison.
        Wisconsin must not pass the anti-gay, anti-civil unions law.

        •  I voted the same way in Madison... (0+ / 0-)

          ...about an hour ago. Of course, there is no question it will pass here, but like you, I'm hoping it will pass in lots of small towns, too.

          As for the homophobic law, I'm just glad we have seven more months to fight it. I'm afraid if we were voting on it today, it might pass.

          Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978. -7.63, -5.64

          by wiscmass on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 03:04:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I sadly agree (0+ / 0-)

            What I find unfortunate is that many black voters are totally against gay marriage because of stupid Jesus, though to my recollection he never mentioned gays. Normally here in WI we can count on their votes being on our side and this time they will not. Even though every black person I talk to has some fucking relative who is gay, a cousin or something. As much as I try I can  not convince anyone that this is similar to the no black/white marriages. "If God wanted us mixes our races he wouldn't have made us different colors." and that kind of stupid shit but it doesn't work.  

            •  My biggest frustration... (0+ / 0-)

              ...is that I'm religious, so I get lumped in with all the people who say the Bible forbids gay marriage.

              The Bible also permits slavery, executing people who work on the Sabbath or wear linen and wool simultaneously, and requires us to behave charitably even to "sinners," but you don't see Rethugs who have hijacked the mantle of religion paying any attention to those things.

              Thwarting the forces of conservatism since 1978. -7.63, -5.64

              by wiscmass on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 03:32:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They are the hypocrits (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wiscmass

                Christ is referring to when he gives his speech about giving to the poor but don't go out and shout it to all the people like the hypocrits do. I wish more people would actually reread the Sermon on the Mount or all four books of the Gospels.
                What cracks me up is that so many "christians" who conjure up edicts from the Bible but can't tell you where they are, And if you ask them if they have read the Bible they say "No"

                •  Paradise Lost (0+ / 0-)

                  Way too much of what people believe is in the Bible comes from Paradise Lost. (Or as Penn Jillete says...nothing would create more atheists than people actually reading the Bible)

                  "Murrow had a child. The damn thing went wild." -- Fleetwood Mac
                  (-8.63), (-7.03)

                  by Perdition on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 05:58:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Using the Bible as a cover (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Perdition, RantNRaven

              for being against gay marriage is really disingenous.  It is legal to do many things the bible tells us not to. If people are religious and think god does not want gay marriage then they are perfectly welcome to not enter into a gay marriage.  So the bible argument is done...next.  

              Gays will harm straight marriage.  This argument is really almost too ridiculous.  Gays getting married will not turn my husband gay and won't make me a lesbian.  The only way gay marriage could ever harm my straight marriage is if gays, as part of  getting married, had to come over and drink the last diet coke, hide the remote and leave the cars with the gas tanks empty.  If that's not part of the "gay agenda" then I have better thing to do with my day then worry about the gay agenda. If we are really looking to protect straight marriages, I say we ban 30-something boob jobs and dieting(aka re-inventing).

              But good for Russ for speaking out.

              Does the devil wear a suit and tie, Or does he work at the Dairy Queen- Martin Sexton

              by strengthof10kmen on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 04:57:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Gay Marriage (0+ / 0-)

            The last poll I saw (it was in one of the UW-Madison student newspapers) said that about half of wisconsinites support gay marriage, if you change it to civil unions, it shoots up even higher...not to mention the fact that this amendment is very overarching and will impact even heterosexual couples...I really don't think it has a snowball's chance.

            "Murrow had a child. The damn thing went wild." -- Fleetwood Mac
            (-8.63), (-7.03)

            by Perdition on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 05:57:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thank for posting this whodat527. Feingold is a (0+ / 0-)

    true American hero, and has my vote should he run for 2008 Presidential Candidate.  

    In every case I know off, courageous Senator Russ Feingold leads the pack in advocacy of progressive issues.

    His no holds bars support for full equality and equal rights for all Americans has is promised in the 14th amendment makes other leaders look pale and sad by comparision.

    Thank you Russ Feingold.  And whodat527 for bringing us this good news.  

  •  Not enthused (4+ / 0-)

    IMO, this just continues to muddy the waters and plays into the Republican frame.

    If the Democrats had any ideas about this issue, it would be that marriage is a religious sacrament and it is totally up to the churches to decide who they will join in holy wedlock.  And they would have started an organized nationwide effort to remove the term "marriage" from all laws, so that heretofore there are only "civil unions," at least two years ago already.

    If the Democrats had any ideas.  Instead, they are, as usual, for gay marriage because Republicans are against gay marriage. [yawn]

    •  marriage is a civil institution (15+ / 0-)

      check your marriage certificate. the state does not differentiate between ceremonies done in churches or courthouses or on the top of mountains, it just records who the two adults are as well as an officiant and a witness.

      there is no need for a change in definition, the law is in essence a civil arrangement already. all that needs changing is a recognition that the state should not legally discriminate between same-sex and different-sex couples, any more than it should between same-race and different-race couples, or same-faith and mixed-faith couples.

      marriage is civil. the state should not discriminate between citizens on the basis of sexual orientation any more than race or creed. my gay and lesbian friends ought to be treated no differently than the state treated me and my wife, and their love is no less valid than ours.

      it is really quite a simple solution.

      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

      by wu ming on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:18:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's my point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemocraticLuntz

        It shouldn't be.  It was a religious institution long before the state got involved, which is why it's such an emotionally charged issue.  The term should be purged from all laws, since it's meaningless in law except as a redundant term for "civil union."

        •  Ack! NO (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wu ming, George in TX

          No it wasn't.

          Marriage was long a civil institution, a contract between two parties, until the Catholic Church stuck its nose into it and made it a sacrament.

          •  Do you believe (0+ / 0-)

            that the early societies of the world got married under religous beliefs becasue they had no civil society? This is something I have been using as an arguement.
            I say that it is obvious that marriage is similar to burial rites all products of some form of religion.
            Please correct my arguement so that I don't have to be worried about being shot down by someone who is a theology student or right wing cultural anthropologist, if those exist.
            Thanks

            •  depends on the society (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brooke In Seattle

              the religion and the time period. but if history mattered for legal purposes, slavery would still be illegal, and miscegenation a crime. we got past those two historical fuckups as a nation, and we'll get past this one as well.

              but as to your question, marriage was a civil institution in puritan massachusetts for the same reason that christmas was illegal: because the puritans distructed catholic sacraments, and believed neither in holy days nor debasing religion with something as profane (in a religious sense) as marriage.

              marriage used to be a legal agreement between two families, or two patriarchs, historically, and yet we do not allow either child mariage or arranged marriages against the will of the couple anymore. the whole religious history argument is legally quite weak, and goes against the grain of the secular state which has been in place for over two centuries, and at the heart of the constitution.

              crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

              by wu ming on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 04:19:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Talking at cross purposes? (0+ / 0-)

            I think you mean civil unions were around as state institutions long before the Catholic Church came up with the religious sacrament of marriage?

            If that's not what you mean, then please clarify the difference between a "civil union" and a "marriage."

            •  marriage as a secular arrangement (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Brooke In Seattle

              predates marrriage as a catholic sacrament. other cultures did not necessarily have a religious ceremony either.

              crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

              by wu ming on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 04:19:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Was it legally recognized? (0+ / 0-)

                Was this secular arrangement legally recognized?

                •  depends on the country (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Brooke In Seattle

                  not all societies had legal systems, or governed using written law codes, or had states that gave a fuck about managing the marriages of their subjects. but yes, marriage was only begun to be registered into church parish records, and thus called a sacrament part way into the middle ages in europe, it is not a practice that goes into the depths of time in europe, to say nothing of all humanity. you. are. wrong. get it?

                  crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

                  by wu ming on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 04:25:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Not if I understand you correctly (0+ / 0-)

                    And at what point did these marriages that were entered into church parish records carry legal weight?  Before or after the practice of entering them into church parish records were started?

                    Because it sounds like you are saying that it wasn't particularly common to find it recognized in law until after the church started recognizing (and recording) it as a sacrament.

                    •  marriage laws predate the founding of the church (0+ / 0-)

                      going all the way back to greece and rome in terms of written family law. whether written records carried legal weight in any given situation is a question that differs from legal system to legal system, historically, and written legal codes and state or religious records of marriages have not been not universal across time and in every society. marriage wasn't even officially considered a sacrament until fairly late in the game, as the catholic church became interested in extending its authority into matters which had previously been considered secular or profane; our own country's earliest puritan settlers sought to return their faith to that state, and as such established marriage as a fundamentally secular legal arrangement in the massachusetts bay colony IIRC.

                      your argument does not hold water historically, to say nothing of legally, given the several hundred years of constitutional separation of church and state in this country. marriage already is a matter of the state, not the church, and as such is fundamentally civil already. to hand marriage over to churches is as rediculous as handing the FDA over to kosher and halal religious authorities, and then setting up a shadow FDA with a different name. we already have civil marriage, and the religious bigots who want to control everyone else's lives aren't going to be content even if you hand over an entire function of government to them.

                      crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

                      by wu ming on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 06:30:42 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Not if I understand you correctly (0+ / 0-)

                    And at what point did these marriages that were entered into church parish records carry legal weight?  Before or after the practice of entering them into church parish records were started?

                    Because it sounds like you are saying that it wasn't particularly common to find it recognized in law until after the church started recognizing (and recording) it as a sacrament.

                  •  Beside the point anyway. (0+ / 0-)

                    Which one came first really doesn't matter.  What matter is that the Democrats don't have the good sense to pursue equality in civil unions (which most religious people could care less about) instead of equality in marriage (which many religious people care deeply about). Instead, they use the hot-button word the Republicans want them to use.

                    That is, unless someone can give me a definition of "civil union" that distinguishes it from "marriage" and which supports the idear that marriage is something that should be addressed in laws in addition to civil unions.

      •  1049 federal rights depend on marital status (0+ / 0-)

        Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

        by willyr on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 03:56:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

          And I'm saying they shouldn't depend on "marital" status, but whether you are part of a legally recognized "civil union."

          •  what people are arguing over (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Free Spirit

            are civil rights---ones guaranteed by the government through the Constitution and the laws of the states and the United States.

            Feingold and others who argue for marriage equality are simply saying that the laws of our country should not give special benefits to heterosexual couples that they don't give to other couples.

            Right now our laws do exactly that by giving certain rights and benefits--about 1500 of them--to heterosexuals who are allowed to "marry" and be given sanction of law, and deny those same benefits to same sex couples.

            I think we basically agree: The government should get out of the business of marriage, and gave the same rights and benefits (and obligations) to all couples, regardless of gender.

            Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

            by willyr on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 04:38:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, we agree (0+ / 0-)

              And the Democrats don't have the good sense to focus in on that and pursue equality in civil unions (which most religious people could care less about) instead of equality marriage (which many religious people care deeply about).  Instead, they use the hot-button word the Republicans want them to use.

    •  muddy the waters? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, mang glider, RantNRaven

      Muddying the waters is supporting "unions" but not "marriage" when the other party is crystal clear about what it supports.

      I'm very proud of Sen. Feingold today.

    •  I disagree... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MrSandman

      You're assuming this has to do with the discussion at the national level but it's on the ballot to ban gay marriage and civil unions in Wisconsin in November ....and there's quite a few fence sitter/moderate Republicans here that respect Russ enough that they'll listen.

    •  What great thinking (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje

      I can see the Democrats noe campagning on the platform:

      "We are going to take your marriage away, but you can be civil-unioned"

      What a winner - that could be even more popular among straight people as it is gays.

      Just keep those ideas coming :))

    •  I don't see it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      curtadams

      that way. Democrats are for gay marriage because it is the right thing to do. As far as civil unions are concerned, I have been asking people  why can't my girlfriend and I get a civil union? They tell me to get married. I tell them I don't believe in Jesus or God and marriage is sacred right? So I am trying to show how civil unions should be allowed for people who don't respect the dogma of religion or god at all. Wouldn't my Godless marriage be a threat to it sanctity?
      Wee need to show that civil unoins aren't just for gays.
      It doesn't matter because eventually these assholes will lose and they will have to accept civil unions. It may take some time but it will come to pass. Remember elections will be very different after the Christians are all taken into heaven at the rapture, which I believe will be soon if any of their literature is to be taken seriously. Good riddance.

      •  I'm not sure I follow you (0+ / 0-)

        I don't see anything in your comment that is inconsistent with what I said.

        What don't you see what way?

      •  Marriage (0+ / 0-)

        The word marriage has two similar but distinct definitions...there is religious marriage and legal marriage. Thge legal kind is not "holy" nor is it a sacrament...its really just a contract. On the surface, it may sound obvious or easy to come up with a different word for the legal brand of marriage...but the word, the idea, and the concept have become so ingrained in our culture (as an atheist, I still want to get married some day) that that's a losing battle, even before you start.

        "Murrow had a child. The damn thing went wild." -- Fleetwood Mac
        (-8.63), (-7.03)

        by Perdition on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 06:03:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Done already (0+ / 0-)

          As far as I know, "civil union" is the term for the "legal brand of marriage."  An awful lot of people have already figured that out.  It's not some big cultural leap.

          •  Just ask (0+ / 0-)

            People may understand that intellectually...but ask two engaged people what they're planning, and they'll say marriage...even if they're both atheist and just going to the courthouse to register.

            "Murrow had a child. The damn thing went wild." -- Fleetwood Mac
            (-8.63), (-7.03)

            by Perdition on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 06:10:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Who cares what they say (0+ / 0-)

              That's not any of the government's business, either.  The only thing that should be part of the political discourse is what's in the law.

              •  True (0+ / 0-)

                But then you're advocating spending the time and money to go through all the laws in state and federal books to change the word 'marriage' with 'civil union'.  Its just a word, and its the word we use. People need to recognize the difference between the lagal and religious meanings, rather than quibble about the finer points of English (language) usage.

                "Murrow had a child. The damn thing went wild." -- Fleetwood Mac
                (-8.63), (-7.03)

                by Perdition on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 06:16:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  People don't want a lousy civil union, (0+ / 0-)
      they want a marriage.
  •  a good move (5+ / 0-)

    like so much of what russ has done, this forces us to actually discuss the issue, instead of running from it and pretending it'll go away. history is on our side here, and at the very least feingold's endorsement of full marriage equality means that the debate will not be framed entirely by a debate between bigots and equivocators.

    politics is as much about moving and convincing the electorate to one's position as it is about winning elections every two years. from the patriot act to the iraq war to censure to marriage equality, feingold has worked to force discussion, and in so doing, has begun the long and arduous process of moving things forward so that democrats will someday be able to win election on our ground, and not as nicer, more competent republicans.

    i don't know how this affects 2008, but then again i don't think that it is possible to guess that far ahead at where the country will be, politically. this certainly assures the left that we have a dog in the race, though.

    crimson gates reek with meat and wine/while on the streets, bones of the frozen dead -du fu (712-770)

    by wu ming on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:12:05 PM PDT

    •  Yes...LEADERSHIP, for a change (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      berning

      Russ understands, unlike so many politicians, that public service and elected office are about LEADING, not following.

      He reminds me of Paul Wellstone and Bobby Kennedy  in that way.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 03:27:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How many people (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Perdition

        in the last election said that Kerry seemed like he couldn't defend himself and they didn't like that. Bush wins on that trait. As much as I dislike B.Clinton I do agree that people like wrong and strong vs. right and weak.
        Why don't the Democrats support the Democratic versions of the Swift Boats? Instead we get people wondering about the proper lenght of time a candidate pauses before he answers his questions and will this end his chances of WINNING.

  •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DemocraticLuntz

    By publicly expressing that position, Russ makes it clear that he has no interest in becoming president in 2008.

    God bless him for having convictions, but his presidential ambitions just splatted on the pavement.

    Love ya Russ. Be safe.  

    My body is not a condo!

    by GunsCantHug on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:13:35 PM PDT

  •  Yet another reason to like him:) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueyedace2
  •  You Can't Spell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    donnas

    "Russ" with "U.S."

    C'mon President Feingold!

    You didn't do it.

    by Earl on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:21:58 PM PDT

  •  Yahoo! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    missreporter

    When i heard the news i was so excited i put on my Madonna cd and danced and danced!

    Good for you Russ.

    www.Operation2012.com

    by Alex 2012 on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:24:19 PM PDT

  •  Hooray Russ Feingold (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, curtadams

    It should not be so difficult for Democrats-- or indeed all political leaders-- to stand up for basic civil rights and human rights for all Americans. Yet, when it comes to the right to marry, to my knowledge, only Senator Feingold has stepped up to the plate and hit a home run. His press release supporting equal rights for gay Americans is clear, strong and articulate. With it, he earns my vote and my wholehearted, energetic support should he decide to run for President. As an aside, it is interesting that one poster who labels himself (herself?) "Free Spirit" would be so nonchalant about the freedom of others. It is impossible to convey how much the right to marry means to gay families denied this right.
       

    •  What Free Spirit was attempting to say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GunsCantHug

      is that the government should never have gotten involved in marriage in the first place. I agree, and I believe that the government shouldn't be issuing marriage licenses to anyone. Instead, there should be a license two people can get from the government which gives them visitation rights, non-taxable money transfers, health care benefits, etc, and if people want to get married, they can hire a priest, minister, rabbi, imam, Reverend Moon, or anyone at all if they aren't religious to perform at their wedding ceremony or whatever.

      Don't take my bluntness and attitude personally-the best weapon for the Democrats is the unvarnished truth, and the truth usually hurts.

      by DemocraticLuntz on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:57:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's Bad Law As Well As Bad Politics (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle, deha

        The Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S Constitution protects the freedom to marry and bars states from taking this away. The U.S Supreme Court has held that it is such an important right that it cannot be taken away from incarcerated serial killers. The Court has recognized marriage as a basic human right and as a civil right. Gay Americans are currently denied this right and Senator Feingold-- to his immense credit and uniquely among our 100 Senators--
        recognizes the injustice here and would rectify it. You don't get rid of the injustice by saying no one may legally marry or by saying everyone gets to have the 1100-plus federal rights associated with marriage but no one gets to call it that(which accomplishes what, exactly?). You get it by making the right realistically and equally available to all. Your post shows you associate "marriage" with a religious ceremony. Civil law does not.Your legal rights as a couple depend not a jot on whether Reverend Moon sprinkled sugar over you or whether you have any ceremony whatsoever. All rights here flow from the piece of paper the county clerk will give to straight couples but not gay couples  

  •  A voice in the wilderness! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lolligolli

    Way to go Senator Feingold!

    The American people want honesty not a line of BS like we've been getting from the Democrats on this issue.  When the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage was put up for a vote in the Senate I couldn't believe what I heard.  After watching (CSPAN!) the likes of Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy speaking to the senate I wanted to vomit.  

    They spoke not one word of support.  Their language was all BS and evasion.  If I remember correctly I'm not sure I even heard about Gay and Lesbian Americans.  Not one of them spoke of our rights as citizens of this country.  The statements were about the amendment, not us humans!

    Folks will vote for an honest man/woman even if they disagree on some issues. Keep at it Senator!!

    "What you see is what you get"--Just remember to take off the rose colored glasses!

    by QueerVoice on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:53:00 PM PDT

  •  If you tell the truth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tmo, zett, Lolligolli
    • you have little choice but to present your view on marriage.

    Feingold is an honest person -- to his very core - and I think Americans will rather go with someone that has honest beliefs.

    Yes it is a difficult question for many -- but as time go by it will be less and less the tortuous axe that the GOP is swinging over our head.

    It is a moral question -- and for people to be against marriage for all -- is immoral.

    Proud to be a Bleeding Heart Liberal

    by sara seattle on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 02:55:00 PM PDT

  •  I still wish he would do a better job (0+ / 0-)

    explaining the issue. When a lot of Americans hear "gay marriage" without an explanation they think of two men at their church alter. Someone needs to explain to these people that no one is going to force their minister to marry anyone he doesn't want to marry. The question isn't who gets to use your alter, the question is whether or not dedicated gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights heterosexual couples get. It doesn't matter how you personally feel about homosexuality, everyone deserves the same rights and benefits.

    (Note: It actually does matter how you feel about homosexuality. If you're not just fine with it you're a terrible and ignorant person. I just don't think a presidential campaign is the best place to promote that point.)

    It took them 30 years- don't give up hope after 3

    by js noble on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 03:09:19 PM PDT

    •  Look at the discussion... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crisis Corps Volunteer

      ...up higher amongst us folks from Wisconsin and you'll see this isn't a presidential election issue for Russ.  It's on our ballot coming up in November.

      Since I believe that's the true motivation for the statement, hopefully it'll mean that for his remaining listening sessions he has scheduled around the state, he'll talk to the people (aside: And Republicans do tend to show up at them.  It's not a "Rah-Rah!" meeting of the faithful/No one else allowed like Bush events) on this issue.

    •  I think (0+ / 0-)

      we should use the term "gay marriage" so much that it becomes part of the national dialogue. It is hard for people to use those two words together so I say we help them by hammering to death. Then maybe, they will think civil unions are a good thing. The Democrats never stand up for anyone or thing and here is one more example. It seems though that many are just more concerned about winning and not necessarily doing what is morally right. I don't want another Bill Clinton who gets our Empire running nice and smoothly. At least Bush is so hated by the rest of the world he can't do too much.

    •  appreciate your thoughts (0+ / 0-)

      Would you be in favor of, say, 2 consenting men and 1 consenting woman entering into a single marriage? Why, or why not? Should they be afforded the same rights as a heterosexual couple?  

      Also, I noticed you used the phrase, "dedicated gay and lesbian couples"; do you believe it matters whether they're "dedicated," and what exactly do you mean by dedicated? Do you think that a straight couple should be allowed to be married if, prior to the marriage, they each agree to allow the other a fling every now and then?  

      My body is not a condo!

      by GunsCantHug on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 03:23:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        George in TX

        I don't have any issue with two men and a woman entering into marriage in principle. I don't know as much as I should about marriage and the rights that come with it but it would seem that such an arrangement would present some difficulties. For example what if a decision regarding medical treatment falls to the spouses and the spouses disagree. And this is where the slippery slope argument might start making sense (the claim that gay marriage constitutes such a slope I find ridiculous). If three people can get married why not 4, why not 10, why not 100. It seems it would be unfair to those in two person marriages if larger marriage arrangments constituted only one income to be taxed.

        Re: dedicated.

        I didn't really mean that much by it. I was really just demonstrating rhetoric I wish people would use that I think would help combat some of the bigoted perception that have been propogated by the right that homosexuality is a culture of sin, deviance, promiscuity etc. Implicit in using the word "dedicated" is the idea that a gay or lesbian couple is just and stable, loving and as good a "building block of society" as any straight couple.

        It took them 30 years- don't give up hope after 3

        by js noble on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 03:52:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  cool (0+ / 0-)

          Thanks for your interesting thoughts.

          Final questions: Why doesn't gay marriage constitute a legitimate slippery slope argument? It seems you premised the notion of 3,4, or 100 people entering into a single marriage as an absurd strawman, but don't you think that, given the size and variety of people in this country, such an arrangement is a realistic possibility? Why dismiss it as a misleading fiction?

           

          My body is not a condo!

          by GunsCantHug on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 04:09:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well (0+ / 0-)

            While allowing gay marriage changes the characteristics of potential spouses (e.g. their gender). Changing the quantity of spouses it taking a step down a different path if you will. There doesn't seem to be a non-arbitrary line to stop at when it comes to the number of spouses. On the other hand I think "the human race" is a sufficient boundary line that doesn't seem to contradict tenets of equality and fairness as we understand them (whether or not animals deserve rights or not is a different question).

            I don't mean to dismiss large group marriages as fiction on the contrary I think if they were legal they would likely occur given the tremendous economic benefits of being part of one. Thats the problem though- I think those advantages really would undermine traditional two-person marriage.

            It took them 30 years- don't give up hope after 3

            by js noble on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 04:18:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah (0+ / 0-)

              I see your point.

              As for animals: animals, like small children, can't legally consent, so I don't think we have to worry about that slope. That IS ridiculous. (although--and this makes me laugh a little--if we're able to put our cat to sleep, shouldn't we be able to marry it?)

              But what makes you think legitimate marriage should be defined by number? Isn't that argument similar to that which says marriage should be defined by gender (e.g., one man, one woman)? Why should number be the controlling factor?

              You mentioned practical problems like life-saving medical decisions and tax implications, which are trenchant observations, but I figure there's a way to fix these problems, like conditioning the marriage on a binding agreement of final medical decisions and reducing the tax benefits per group, so that they don't disproporitonately favor these unusual arrangements.

              My body is not a condo!

              by GunsCantHug on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 04:38:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I think he does well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George in TX

      From his press release:

      Feingold noted that removing the prohibition against gay marriage would not impose any obligation on religious groups. He indicated that no religious faith should ever be forced to conduct or recognize any marriage.

      What exactly are you looking for?

  •  He's not calculating as he's been accused. (0+ / 0-)

    This is proof positive that he really believes in American principles.  He's basically committing political suicide.  Most other pols would be too afraid to so much as say that gays should be able to have unions.

    And, just to preemptively defend himself from accusations of an attack on Christianity:

    Feingold noted that removing the prohibition against gay marriage would not impose any obligation on religious groups. He indicated that no religious faith should ever be forced to conduct or recognize any marriage, but that civil laws on marriage should reflect the principle of equal rights under the law.

    No compromise on equality and treatment for all!

    Stop the Republican War on Humanity

    by lostinbrasil on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 03:27:40 PM PDT

    •  He's not committing suicide (0+ / 0-)

      he's showing that you can be a progressive and be strong.  Strength, or the perception of it, is THE key thing voters look for in a President.  The people for whom this position would make a difference in their vote won't likely vote for a Democrat anyway.  What he's done is take a position that is popular among democratic primary voters in the big blue states and put all the other candidates on the hot seat -- especially Hillary, who will no doubt be pressured by her own NY constituents to take a similar position.  I think this might actually be really smart primary politics, in addition to being the right position to take.

      After this, he's got my support.  Finally, a Democrat who might actually be willing and able to lead.  What a refreshing change.

  •  This would be one (0+ / 0-)
    among many reasons I would vote for Russ Feingold, should he decide to run.  The senator does the right thing simply because it is the right thing.  

    Really, shame on the other ones who hem and haw over a question of human rights and equality.  

    I truly wish there were more politicians like Russ Feingold.

  •  russ (0+ / 0-)

    Political suicide, He won't make any friends in the red states with this move. Pity, he could have been a great president.

    •  Feingold (0+ / 0-)

      Feingold got to where he is by standing up for his principles and not backing down to try to appeal to people who disagreed with him. That's why even conservatives and Republicans respect him in WI, and why people will vote for him for President. I heard this often in 2004, people didn't always agree with Bush, but they voted for him because they knew where he stood (most of these people were buying the "flip-flop" argument about Kerry).

      "Murrow had a child. The damn thing went wild." -- Fleetwood Mac
      (-8.63), (-7.03)

      by Perdition on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 05:54:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Equal rights for All Americans... easy (0+ / 0-)

    Ask Three Poeple a Day: What Noble Cause?

    by Random Excess on Tue Apr 04, 2006 at 04:03:48 PM PDT

  •  Now he should really tweak (0+ / 0-)

    the anti marriage crowd and suggest that if gays and lesbians DON'T  have the same rights as other people when it comes to marriage, they should pay less income taxes since they are not full citizens. Turn the marriage issue into a tax issue first. When the opponents say G and L should pay the same rates, then they should be entitled to the same rights.

  •  This doesn't surprise me at all (0+ / 0-)
    Feingold voted against DOMA and he has always stood up for what he thought was right. And that's why I like him. Hopefully, enough hearts will have been changed in 2008, so that this issue will not hurt him in the general election.

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