MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann Speaks Out Against Prop 8

We are pleased to reproduce the following article with permission from Reiter’s Block. California’s Proposition 8, recently passed in a close vote, eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Marriage is an important path to happiness for many. It should be available to all regardless of sexual orientation.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann Speaks Out Against Prop 8

This may be the most moving speech for equal marriage rights I’ve ever heard. Olbermann, a straight ally, sounded like he was on the verge of tears several times.

An excerpt from the transcript:

I keep hearing this term “re-defining” marriage. If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not “Until Death, Do You Part,” but “Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.” Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn’t marry another man, or a woman couldn’t marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.

How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the “sanctity” of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don’t you, as human beings, have to embrace… that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate… this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness–this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness–share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Read the entire transcript here.

See also:

Press Release: “NoPornNorthampton Offers 500,000+ Words of Innovative Porn-Fighting Power” (11/25/07)
NoPornNorthampton does not support increased government censorship of media. It promotes the concept of “green sexuality”. This sustainable sexuality is characterized by durable, mutually respectful relationships that enhance the lives of the lovers and the wider world. Green sexuality is a union between two equals, embracing both heterosexual and homosexual bonds but excluding polygamy, adult-child sexual relations and bestiality.

Green sexuality is consistent with the principles of the larger green movement, emphasizing long-term thinking, respect for other people, and an awareness of the consequences of personal choices. The green lover avoids mindless excess. By giving up superficial, fleeting, unsatisfying experiences, green relationships cultivate a finer, deeper, richer, and more robust way of living.

Steve and Cokie Roberts Report on Marriage: A Good Idea that Refuses to Die
who’s been the Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George
Washington University since 1997 [and married for 41 years], says that
time and again his students come into his office and ask, “How do you
do it?” The students aren’t asking how to write a snappy lead or tips
on getting an interview with Al Gore. “Popular culture tells them it’s
naive and foolish to think of having a lifelong devotion to someone.
But they have the impulse. I’m not saying marriage is right for all
people all the time, but I think it’s right for most people, most of
the time. To have a partner to go through life with is one of the most
elemental human desires, and these kids want to hear it’s not a pipe
dream, a fiction.”

Wall Street Journal: “What’s at the Heart of Happiness?”
“Marriage provides two sources of happiness,” says Andrew Oswald, an
economics professor at England’s Warwick University. “One is sex and
the other is friendship. Marriage has one of the largest impacts on
human well-being…”

The production and consumption of porn are unlikely to lead to
happiness. Two of porn’s hallmarks are unattached promiscuity and
despair about marriage…

Marriage is Undersold in America
Modern cultures would need to pull back from the now dominant thrust of
secular individualism—the excessive pursuit of personal autonomy,
immediate gratification, and short-term personal gain—and give greater
emphasis to issues of community and social solidarity. This could come
about through a growing realization, based on rational self-interest,
that our personal happiness and sense of well-being over the long
course of life are less affected by the amount of independence, choice,
bodily pleasure and wealth we are able to obtain than by the number of
stable, long-term and meaningful relationships we have with others.
[16] And through a greater recognition of the fact that short-term
adult interests can be in conflict with the long-term health and
wellbeing of children, and that our children’s welfare has everything
to do with the future of our nation.

Sexual Ecology: Porn, Promiscuity, and AIDS (explicit language)
In the urban gay culture of the 1970s and 1980s, concurrent
multipartnerism became the new social norm, even for men in committed
relationships. All these developments, driven by politics and culture
rather than irresistible and unchanging sexual needs, vastly increased
both the risk of infection in any given encounter, and the contact rate
necessary to spread the virus beyond a core group of high-risk

Today’s mainstream heterosexual porn similarly promotes rates of partner change (“50 Guy Cream Pie”)
that are far beyond what any society has considered sustainable for
sexual health. The one community that adopted this porn myth on a
massive scale–gay men in developed countries–was hit with a
devastating epidemic within a generation. Nonetheless, porn continues
to hold out extreme promiscuity as the universal and natural state of
male sexuality, so central to male identity that critical analysis of
its historical and ecological contexts is taboo.

Hampden Superior Court Lets Capital Video Reopen Viewing Booths in Springfield; A Proposed Solution
How much does Capital Video care about the health of its customers? A search of the term barebacking on its website today brings up the following and more:

Bisexual Barebacking #6
Barebacking Tag Team
Unsafe Sex with Transsexuals Barebacking #2
Raw Bois #3 – A Twink Barebacking Adventure
Adventures in Barebacking

title below was prominently on display at an store in
Massachusetts on September 28. The character at the bottom of the box
cover says, “Go Forth And Be Unsafe My Son!”

D.A. Clarke: Women Adopting Men’s Bad Habits Is Not the Answer
accept that the costs borne by strangers in far-off lands make our way
of life unaffordable implies that we learn to respect those people and
that we become ashamed of living at their expense; to accept that we
are responsible for the damage that we do to our soil, water, and air
means that we learn to clean up after ourselves; to accept that
resources are precious and should not be wasted is to learn that the
world is not a consumable, an expendable – and neither are its people.
To accept that our way of life is costing too much means accepting
less: giving up excess, resolving to live within our means. Shoving off
the costs of your behaviour onto others, expecting someone else to
clean up your mess, blowing away the household economy with
irresponsible spending, treating other people as objects to be used and
discarded: are these not some of the traits for which feminists have
persistently criticised and confronted men, the habits of privilege and

Grabbing all you can while you can get it is an
expensive way to live. It may turn out to be an expensive way to die. A
generation which took this lesson to heart would be less likely to use
up, despise, abuse and discard women and children as sexual toys…

Now Showing at The War on Relationships (explicit) is jealous of your human relationships.

It wants
your attention and money for itself. With messages subtle or not, its
movies encourage you to neglect and abuse your intimate partners,
especially your female ones. If you must relate to another human, wants the experience to be exploitative, short and
unstable, to better ensure your swift return to a porn-hungry
state. These strategies appear to be working. At a 2003 meeting of the
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, two-thirds of the 350 divorce
lawyers who attended said Internet porn contributed to more than half
of the divorce cases they handled.

Effects of Prolonged Consumption of Pornography on Family Values; Women’s Desire to Have Daughters Plummets
Pornography consumption had a most powerful effect on evaluations of
the desirability and viability of marriage. Endorsement of marriage as
an essential institution dropped from 60.0% in the control groups to
38.8% in the treatment groups…

What Porn Is: Selections from Mainstream Porn (explicit language)
“A Cum Sucking Whore Named Kimberly” is a 2003 release from Anabolic
Video Productions… [the last scene is] “Gang Bang Girl #32.” In this
scene a frustrated football coach berates his players after practice,
asking them whether they are “football players or fags.” He says they
will lose the game the next day, which he wouldn’t mind if his players
were men — he just hates to lose with fags. He turns to the assistant
coach and says, “prove to me they’re not fags” before walking away. The
proof will be in the 13 players having sex with Kimberly, one of the
cheerleaders in the stands…

Hustler Cartoons: Racism, Misogyny, Anti-Semitism, Homophobia, Pedophilia, Incest, Ridicule of Disabled People… (explicit)

small, nervous man going door-to-door for the “A.I.D.S. Relief Fund” is
greeted by a large man holding a beer bottle and a crowbar. The large
man has a swastika tattoo and a shirt that says, “Death To All Fags!”
The caption reads, “Sorry, wrong house!”

A New Category Debuts: Love and Beauty
Our new category, Love and Beauty, will show how sex, love, relationships and people can be so much more than the narrow, blinkered version
that porn offers. Watching porn instead of seeking a loving
relationship with a real person is like being given a gorgeous race car
that can go 200 miles per hour, only to drive it backwards down the
highway at a crawl and scrape it against railings and bridge abutments.