Today's Blogs

State of the Unions

Bloggers analyze the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. They also debate Tennessee television ad criticizing Rep. Harold Ford and Madonna’s appearance on Oprah.

State of the unions:The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled yesterday that gay couples should be granted the same legal and civil rightsas heterosexual couples, as dictated by the state constitution. The New Jersey State Legislature has 180 days to enact legislation enforcing the ruling.

Pam Spaulding of LGBT blog Pam’s House Blend applauds the ruling: “This is a legal slam dunk as far as I am concerned. You can argue over whether the timing of this ruling is a net positive or negative in terms of its impact on elections, but the reasoning is clear, and forces a debate about fairness under the law for gay and lesbian taxpaying citizens and their partnership rights.”

At Mombian: Sustenance for Lesbian Moms, Dana Rudolph wonderswhether gay couples should push for their unions to be labeled marriages: “Does it in fact make more sense to call these state recognitions ‘civil unions,’ reserving the term ‘marriage’ for an act and status that are recognized everywhere (at least within this sovereign nation) and carrying equal rights and benefits at any given level of government? Does saying ‘civil unions’ underscore that until we have Federal recognition, we still don’t have ‘marriage equality’? … [I]t’s better to take the name ‘marriage’ when we can get it.”

Gay conservative blogger Andrew Sullivan notes, “The Christianists can no longer claim that we are redefining civil marriage in New Jersey. We’re just being fair to gay couples who, as citizens, have every right to be treated equally under the law. My own position, of course, is that full civil marriage rights, with the m-word, is the only just solution.”

But on his National Review blog And Another Thing …,Mark Levin takes a dimmer view: “Today’s New Jersey supreme court’s ruling on marriage was as political as any I’ve seen. It says, in essence, call it marriage or call it something else, but you, the legislature, must confer the same rights on homosexual couples as you confer on heterosexual couples as applies to marriage. It is compelling the legislature to do it, and it has six months—like a parent disciplining a child.”

Read more about the New Jersey Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

Race to the finish: In the closely watched Senate race in Tennessee, a television ad critical of Rep. Harold Ford has been pulled because critics said it had racist overtones. The ad featured a scantily clad white woman who said she had met Ford, who is black, at a Playboy party and then said, “Harold, call me,” into the camera, winking. (View the ad here.) Critics claimed the ad was intended to play up racial fears in a close matchup.

Liberal Daily Kos is skeptical that pulling the ad will have the desired effect: “I wouldn’t necessarily view the fact the ad is no longer airing as a victory; after all, the RNC got exactly what it wanted. … [I]t shelled out a limited amount of money for a limited ad buy while relying on an all-too-willing press to provide hours and hours of free exposure for its lies. And so, the RNC got its racist message out to the voters of Tennessee, and unfortunately, that message will resonate with some voters.”

But the right-leaning Betsy’s Page questions whether the racial overtones in the ad actually exist: “No one except the professional race mongers saw this as a play on miscegenation fears. …. And, let’s face it. Anyone who would vote against Ford because of the implication that he talked to a white woman at a party wasn’t going to vote for him anyway. Such a hypothetical racist voter wasn’t going to vote for a black man for Senate.”

Matt Margolis at GOP Bloggers takes the Democrats to task for what he sees as their hypocrisy: “I’m tired of the left bitching and moaning when a black Democrat’s positions and character are criticized, yet they condone blatantly racist attacks against black Democrats, such as when Michael Steele had Oreo cookies thrown at him at a rally by Democrats. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer recently called Steele ‘slavish,’ but you don’t see him getting reamed about that by the NAACP do you?”

Read more about the Tennessee Senate race.

Mama Madonna:Madonna went on Oprah yesterday to discuss her recent adoption of a baby from Malawi. The singer has been criticized for allegedly circumventing the country’s adoption laws and because the baby’s father claims he didn’t understand he was giving his child away for good.

Celebitchy is nonplussed by Madonna’s appearance on the talk show: “Her statements seem snotty and defensive to me, though, and by admitting that she doesn’t understand the controversy and that there were no laws barring her behavior, she makes it clear how she could flout adoption regulations and snag an infant with a father without batting an eye.”

But on celebrity blog JustJared, commenter Anna dismisses Madonna’s critics:“I’m pissed at the media for turning it into a scandal. Malawi needs international adoptions and this media mess will discourage people … the only ones who lose in this battle are those kids that need parents.”

Read more about Madonna’s appearance on Oprah.