Nashville

Nashville, TN

Nashville Blog

Drinking Liberally tonight!

Hello, Liberal Drinkers! Come join us this evening, after 6:30 pm at the Flying Saucer, for another round of Drinking Liberally!

Have you voted yet? Don't wait! Locations and hours here: (PDF) http://goo.gl/q54Wvd

Browsing through The Tennessean earlier today, I saw the op-ed by conservative political scientist and law professor Carol Swain (http://goo.gl/tr9Ez7). True to form, Swain titled the piece "Don't believe opponents of Amendment 1." In it, she accuses the No on 1 campaign of flat-out lying to Tennesseans about what the proposed amendment will do. The letter is a direct response to the op-ed written by Roy Herron of the TNDP, which laid out arguments against Amendment 1. (http://goo.gl/3M9NyX)

It's pretty incredible that the campaigns for and against Amendment 1 are accusing each other of lying to voters, and it has the effect of significantly confusing the electorate. It's awfully difficult to evaluate your position and make a decision when you can't seem to get a straight answer on what the law says and does.

That confusion might be intentional on the part of either or both campaigns. My hunch is that it will cause some voters sit this one out. Don't let that happen to you! Talk to your friends and family about all the amendments and candidates, and then GO VOTE!

For a full rundown of the candidates (with links to their websites) and the text of the proposed amendments, see http://goo.gl/tw8mdq.

See you tonight!
-amie

Drinking Liberally tonight!

Hiya, Liberal Drinkers! Come join us this evening, after 6:30 pm at the Flying Saucer, for another round of Drinking Liberally!

It's Early Voting season! You never know what might happen on Election Day, so go ahead and cast your vote NOW! Locations and hours here: (PDF) http://goo.gl/q54Wvd

For a full rundown of the candidates (with links to their websites) and the text of the proposed amendments, see http://goo.gl/tw8mdq.

In a bit of fortunate timing, the US Government Accountability Office has issued a report on voter turnout after the passage of laws restricting voting rights. The key bit:

"In Tennessee, the report found that turnout among eligible and registered voters declined between 2008 and 2012 by an estimated 2.2 to 3.2 percent more than in states that didn't make their voter ID laws stricter. Those states were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware and Maine.

The result was roughly 88,000 "lost votes" in Tennessee — meaning 88,000 Tennesseans who likely would have voted if the new law hadn't been in place — according to a Washington Post analysis of the GAO report published Oct. 9." http://goo.gl/JvehMt

The only way we can restore our rights is by voting, so go vote and encourage everyone else to vote as well. Don't be dissuaded if you're challenged - ask for a provisional ballot.

And don't forget, this is our long-awaited chance to vote on wine in grocery stores! Don't let it pass you by!

See you tonight!
-amie

Drinking Liberally tonight!

Hello, Liberal Drinkers! Come join us this evening, after 6:30 pm at the Flying Saucer, for another round of Drinking Liberally!

As you're probably aware, on Monday the Supreme Court declined to take up the 5 marriage equality cases they'd been asked to consider, which means the appellate decisions stand: in the states within those 5 districts, couples are now free to get married. Two more appellate courts are close to issuing opinions in similar cases; if they both rule as expected, marriage equality will be the rule in 30 states and D.C. Some states, like Virginia, started processing marriage licenses for gay couples Monday afternoon.

We've seen a flood of pictures from these weddings, as couples rushed to clerks' offices. Their joy is palpable, and beautiful to behold.

On Tuesday, one of those pending courts, the 9th circuit, issued its opinion and marriage equality won again, overturning the states' discriminatory marriage laws. One of those states, Idaho, rushed to ask the Supreme Court to issue a stay on the opinion to prevent couples from marrying while the state appealed yet again. Justice Kennedy approved the stay. I learned about this when I refreshed my browser and saw another gay couple weeping - this time in anguish, because they had just learned that their state, Idaho, refuses to allow them to get married.

It made me think of a moment last Sunday, when my uncle Douglas showed me the church program from that morning. He's an English professor and a professional organist, and he'd just played at his new job, having taken a position at a new church. The program included a lovely and warm introduction about him, which was great. And at the end, it noted that he and his husband David live in Inglewood, and are proud parents of twin four-year old daughters.

My uncles are, in fact, married. They wed in 2006, in Montreal. But Tennessee says my marriage is better than theirs. Tennessee says their daughters, who aren't adopted, aren't being raised by married parents.

My friends in Michigan face a similar situation. E. and B. fell in love as teenagers, and have been together ever since. They got married in Massachusetts nearly a decade ago. Their son and daughter, also not adopted, are being raised by their married parents. But Michigan says they're not married.

So we're all waiting for the 6th circuit to decide whether their home states have to acknowledge these marriages. I point this out because we hear a lot about the happy couples who rush to get married the moment it becomes legal in their state, but we don't hear much about the thousands and thousands of couples who are already legally married and raising children, yet denied the full respect of the law. And I note that some of those couples have biological children not because there's some problem with adoption - far from it! - but because we don't hear much about that, either, but gay couples use reproductive technologies just like straight couples do.

Try to imagine, if you're a straight, married person, being treated like you're not married. That your children are told that their parents aren't really married. Decades, even, after your lawful wedding. It is so fundamentally and colossally wrong that it just amazes me.

This is about injustice, a grave injustice that harms us all, when we say some families are better than others. So c'mon, 6th Circuit. Let's fix this, finally.

See you tonight!
-amie

Drinking Liberally tonight!

Hello, Liberal Drinkers! Come join us this evening, after 6:30 pm at the Flying Saucer, for another round of Drinking Liberally!

As you're probably aware, on Monday the Supreme Court declined to take up the 5 marriage equality cases they'd been asked to consider, which means the appellate decisions stand: in the states within those 5 districts, couples are now free to get married. Two more appellate courts are close to issuing opinions in similar cases; if they both rule as expected, marriage equality will be the rule in 30 states and D.C. Some states, like Virginia, started processing marriage licenses for gay couples Monday afternoon.

We've seen a flood of pictures from these weddings, as couples rushed to clerks' offices. Their joy is palpable, and beautiful to behold.

On Tuesday, one of those pending courts, the 9th circuit, issued its opinion and marriage equality won again, overturning the states' discriminatory marriage laws. One of those states, Idaho, rushed to ask the Supreme Court to issue a stay on the opinion to prevent couples from marrying while the state appealed yet again. Justice Kennedy approved the stay. I learned about this when I refreshed my browser and saw another gay couple weeping - this time in anguish, because they had just learned that their state, Idaho, refuses to allow them to get married.

It made me think of a moment last Sunday, when my uncle Douglas showed me the church program from that morning. He's an English professor and a professional organist, and he'd just played at his new job, having taken a position at a new church. The program included a lovely and warm introduction about him, which was great. And at the end, it noted that he and his husband David live in Inglewood, and are proud parents of twin four-year old daughters.

My uncles are, in fact, married. They wed in 2006, in Montreal. But Tennessee says my marriage is better than theirs. Tennessee says their daughters, who aren't adopted, aren't being raised by married parents.

My friends in Michigan face a similar situation. E. and B. fell in love as teenagers, and have been together ever since. They got married in Massachusetts nearly a decade ago. Their son and daughter, also not adopted, are being raised by their married parents. But Michigan says they're not married.

So we're all waiting for the 6th circuit to decide whether their home states have to acknowledge these marriages. I point this out because we hear a lot about the happy couples who rush to get married the moment it becomes legal in their state, but we don't hear much about the thousands and thousands of couples who are already legally married and raising children, yet denied the full respect of the law. And I note that some of those couples have biological children not because there's some problem with adoption - far from it! - but because we don't hear much about that, either, but gay couples use reproductive technologies just like straight couples do.

Try to imagine, if you're a straight, married person, being treated like you're not married. That your children are told that their parents aren't really married. Decades, even, after your lawful wedding. It is so fundamentally and colossally wrong that it just amazes me.

This is about injustice, a grave injustice that harms us all, when we say some families are better than others. So c'mon, 6th Circuit. Let's fix this, finally.

See you tonight!
-amie

Drinking Liberally tonight!

Hey there, Liberal Drinkers! Come join us this evening, after 6:30 pm at the Flying Saucer, for another round of Drinking Liberally!

If you've glanced at local news lately, you've probably noticed that the messaging about Amendment 1 here in Tennessee is picking up in advance of November's elections. After 13 years of concerted effort, conservatives have finally reached a ballot vote on whether to allow the legislature to further restrict a woman's right to an abortion in Tennessee.

While our state's places of worship are barred from campaigning for specific people, they're allowed to openly campaign on ballot issues, and those campaigns are currently heating up. Last Sunday saw a lot of action as churches launched coordinated efforts to turn out voters in favor of the amendment. We're attracting national attention, too: this week the uber-prolific Duggar family visited the hill to rally for the amendment, and Mother Jones magazine has called this vote the nation's biggest battle over abortion. (http://goo.gl/3crLO0)

Living as we do in a sea of bright red, I was pleasantly surprised to read today that liberal religious leaders are also speaking up. (http://goo.gl/lXchvy) From the Tennessean:

"Rabbi Micah Greenstein says he doesn't think Amendment 1 on Tennessee's Nov. 4 ballot is about views for or against abortion.

Greenstein, who joined a group of about 40 Memphis-area clergy Wednesday in opposing the amendment, said he believes it's about who makes women's health-care decisions.

"Politicians or doctors?" said Greenstein, of Temple Israel, at the event in Evergreen Presbyterian Church near Rhodes College. "Who decides what's best for a woman's health? A rape victim and her minister, or a religious zealot who would impose his will on all Tennessee women and families? Who decides what's best for a woman's health? Some political candidate or the female cancer patient herself in consultation with her doctor and priest?""

While I know (happily, even!) that state Sen. Stacey Campfield is soon to leave the legislature (huzzah!) he's still useful as a thought experiment. As in the above paragraph, try saying aloud, "Who decides what's best for a woman's health? Stacey Campfield?"

Maybe that will provide you some encouragement to vote this November, and to urge your friends to vote as well.

See you tonight!
-amie

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