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"We Republicans Lost On Gay Rights. That's A Good Thing." - Mark McKinnon

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We Republicans Lost On Gay Rights. That’s A Good Thing.
(Big business is bringing the GOP into the future)

by Mark McKinnon, Politico, June 1, 2015

I'm not among those Republicans who have “evolved” on the issue of gay rights. I didn’t need to. I’ve always been attracted to the GOP message of more freedom and less government, but thought it hypocritical and counter to the core of our philosophy that Republicans would not apply those tenets to gay rights. But of course I was often the black sheep in campaign meetings during the 1990s and 2000s. There goes McKinnon again. Taking up for the gays. Although “gay” wasn’t the word that was used back then.

Politically, while it once helped political parties to use gay rights to divide and score political points (and the GOP didn’t have a monopoly on the issue; remember it was Bill Clinton who signed the Defense of Marriage Act), the wedge issue has now lost its edge, even, I would argue, in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. No Republican can win the nomination without the support of the business community. And Big Business is now at odds with the social conservative faction of the Republican Party over gay and transgender equality — and Big Business is winning.

Look at what’s happened in four states dominated by the GOP in the past year.

Weeks before the Super Bowl kickoff in 2014, the Arizona Legislature passed a bill allowing businesses to refuse service to gay customers. This “religious freedom” measure made it OK for business owners to kick customers out of their establishments if they opposed homosexuality on religious grounds. Scores of corporate titans in the travel and tourism industry, together with the NFL, opposed the bill. Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed it.

In Indiana this March, lawmakers tried to pass similar legislation, followed by a hell-hath-no-fury response led by Eli Lilly, Salesforce and Angie’s List, which canceled a $40 million project planned for Indianapolis. Marriott’s CEO said the legislation was “pure idiocy from a business perspective.” Gov. Mike Pence modified the bill, but the damage was done. (The state has since hired a global PR firm to resuscitate its image following the brouhaha.)

In Arkansas, same story. Seeing the firestorm that occurred in Indiana, Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson didn’t sign the original bill that hit his desk after calls for him to veto it came from his own son, and from Arkansas-based Wal-Mart, which said the bill ran counter to the company’s values. In the end, the governor signed a less toxic, less controversial bill.

And this week, Texas became the latest to join the fray.

The Lone Star State just wrapped its legislative session, which included two “religious freedom” constitutional amendments. Learning from what happened in the above states, industry groups and major businesses went out pre-emptively — let me say that again: pre-emptively — before such bills made it too far in the Legislature. The conservative state chamber of commerce, the Texas Association of Business, took the lead.

The amendments “would devastate economic development, tourism and the convention business,” said Bill Hammond, TAB’s CEO. “One has to look no further than Indiana to realize what a detriment this would be, and how hard it would be to sell Texas to the rest of the country. The Super Bowl [in Houston in 2017], the Final Four, all those things would be at risk in Texas if this were to become part of our Constitution.”

More than 250 Texas companies — American Airlines, Dell, Texas Instruments, Dow Chemical, the Dallas Mavericks — went on record with a general pledge in support of treating gay and transgender Texans fairly and equally under the law — and that welcoming and inclusive communities are essential to their bottom line.

Both amendments in the Texas Legislature died a quick death.

So: four states, same story and same result. If the “religious freedom” strategy can’t work in Texas — the bastion of conservatism and beacon for business — where can it work?

It’s not news this country has come a long way on LGBT rights. An evolution, a massive one, has taken place. Culturally, we’ve gone from taboo to tolerance, and in some cities, total embrace. Elections are always about the future, never about the past. And so my advice to GOP candidates is to recognize that since our society has largely moved on, and business has moved on, so should the party of Abraham Lincoln, who fought a civil war over civil rights.

Discrimination is now simply bad for the bottom line and bad for any brand, whether a company’s or a state’s. When it comes to recruitment and retention, the millennial generation, which will be 75 percent of the workforce by 2030, doesn’t have much tolerance for anti-gay anything. In fact, it’s become somewhat of a litmus test. Almost 80 percent of straight millennials use LGBT nondiscrimination as one criterion when deciding where to work, according to Public Religion Research Institute.

Most businesses now have their own internal nondiscrimination policies for LGBT employees, but they want to see their larger communities in which they operate adopt similar welcoming and inclusive policies. Top talent is looking for both a great job and a great quality of life. To most folks, I would venture, that does not mean a city or state that looks the other way when discrimination

happens.

It’s clear from the reaction of many of America’s leading corporations, that Big Business wants to do the right thing for and by employees — all of them. And most CEOs of the Fortune 500 are Republicans. So, they are paving the way for more in our party to jump on board with gay rights. If it’s good for business, it’s generally good for the Republican Party.

Negative national headlines on religious freedom continue to fuel a negative image of the entire party. Both in my private conversations with and in public (and private) polling, conservatives are moving ever closer to supporting full equity for LGBT Americans. Gallup’s Values and Beliefs poll released last month showed a more than 20 percentage-point increase since 2001 in Americans (63 percent) who believe “gay and lesbian relations” are “morally acceptable”. You don’t get to a supermajority like that without Republicans. Even Texas conservatives support protecting gay and transgender folks from employment discrimination.

Republicans, like the rest of Americans, support nondiscrimination laws because most of us have gay family members, friends and co-workers and want to treat them as we would want to be treated. And having heard from moms and dads who want this great country to treat their gay child just like their straight child has been a powerful narrative. It really is all about family standing up for one another. Most people believe equality under the law can and does work well alongside protecting religious freedom — which must be and is protected, even cherished, in our Constitution.

Shockingly, it’s still legal in the United States of America, even as we may be on the brink of having marriage equality in all 50 states, to fire and evict gay and transgender folks — and kick them out of a restaurant — simply for being who they are. This is patently wrong and needs to be fixed.

Democrats and Big Business are at work fixing it, together. That would have been an odd pairing years ago. The GOP position is untenable — and out of step with one of its key constituencies. It’s time to stand up to the social conservative wing and move into the future.

Mark McKinnon is chairman of Texas Wins and former media adviser to George W. Bush and John McCain.

Link to article - http://tinyurl.com/phfjelf


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Good luck with that.

Might be a tough sell, what with conservative right wingnuts like "Judge" Roy Moore of Alabama...

Judge Roy Moore: SCOTUS Ruling in Favor of Gay Marriage ‘Will Destroy Our Country’

by Penny Starr, CNS News, May 29, 2015

abc_gma_moore_150210a-800x430.jpg

(CNSNews.com) – The chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, said he believes that if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in June that homosexual marriage is a Constitutional right, it “will destroy our country,” and added that “there are people who would like to see this country destroyed.”

“What [the court is] doing is they’re toying with something that’s like dynamite and will destroy our country,” Justice Roy Moore told CNSNews.com in an exclusive interview last week during the Family Research Council’s annual pastor’s retreat in Washington, D.C.

Moore said a favorable ruling would mean Americans would be forced to accept homosexual marriage and support it through goods and services for those ceremonies.

He said this is already happening in cases where bakers or florists have faced fines and other consequences for not providing services for homosexual weddings because of their religious beliefs. He also said there are examples in the U.S. military where some chaplains have been disciplined because of their opposition to same-sex marriage.

Moore said the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of homosexual marriage would do more than allow two people of the same sex to be legally married.

“What the Supreme Court is about to do, if they do it, is not redefine marriage but destroy the institution of marriage,” Moore said, citing the high court’s 1885 decision in Murphy v. Ramsey, where the opinion stated that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

As part of that decision reads: “For certainly no legislation can be supposed more wholesome and necessary in the founding of a free, self-governing commonwealth, fit to take rank as one of the co-ordinate States of the Union, than that which seeks to establish it on the basis of the idea of the family, as consisting in and springing from the union for life of one man and one woman in the holy estate of matrimony; the sure foundation of all that is stable and noble in our civilization; the best guaranty of that reverent morality which is the source of all beneficent progress in social and political improvement.

“And to this end, no means are more directly and immediately suitable than those provided by this act, which endeavors to withdraw all political influence from those who are practically hostile to its attainment.”

“I think there’s an attempt to destroy the institution of marriage and I think it will cause, literally cause the destruction of our country or lead to the destruction of our country over the long run,” Moore said. “And I think there are people who would like to see this country destroyed.”

“I’m not saying that everyone who’s homosexual wants to see the country destroyed,” Moore said. “I’m not saying that. I’m saying there’s a push for it.”

In his own state of Alabama, the state Supreme Court is not abiding by a federal district court’s ruling that banning homosexual marriage in unconstitutional. The state Supreme Court made its decision without a vote by Moore, who recused himself from the case.

“The Alabama Supreme Court is not bound by any order of the federal district court,” Moore said. “Just like they’re not bound by any order we issue.”

“They’re parallel court systems,” he said.

Moore said that in the U.S. v. Windsor case that struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, the majority clearly stated that marriage is the purview of the state.

“The federal district courts, according to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 in the case of U.S. versus Windsor, have no authority and have never had authority over marriage and divorce in the state or family, parent, and child relationships,” Moore said.

He further said that the almost two dozen states where federal district courts have made rulings like the Alabama court could have continued their bans on homosexual marriage.

“So 23 states have basically bowed down to the unlawful authority of the federal courts,” Moore said.

The Supreme Court decision on Obergefell v. Hodges is expected in June.

Link to article - http://tinyurl.com/ohfc45h

Edited by zuluweta

Check my timeline for K-1 visa & AOS details

Conditional Permanent Resident: 16 September 2014

Conditional GC Expires: 16 September 2016

ROC Journey (CA Service Center)

2016-Sep-14: I-751 form, check, supporting docs sent USPS Priority Express

2016-Sep-15: ROC application received & signed for by Lakelieh

2016-Sep-15: NOA receipt date

2016-Sep-19: $590 check cashed by USCIS

2016-Sep-20: NOA/ 1-year extension letter received in mail

2018-Feb-26: ROC case transferred to local office

2018-Mar-06: ROC approved via USCIS website (WAC status check)

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