First up from the God Machine this week is a leader of the religious right movement with an interesting theory: are social conservatives migrating based on fear of marriage equality?
I’ve long wondered whether policies like Medicaid expansion might lead families to relocate – if you’re a struggling family in one state; you need access to affordable health care; but your state government is led by Republican policymakers, how likely is it you might pick up and move to a neighboring state with less regressive policies?
The Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly, however, has a far different question on her mind about families and relocations.
“The Court held that because the U.S. Supreme Court had recently ordered that federal benefits be granted to same-sex couples who are married under state law, the civil union law in New Jersey was inadequate to ensure that homosexual couples in New Jersey are able to receive the same benefits as married couples.“There was no dissent from the New Jersey Court’s ruling, not even by Christie’s own judicial appointments. But many Americans are dissenting with their feet, by moving away from same-sex marriage states and into the many states that continue to recognize the value of marriage as being between only one man and one woman.”
They are? “Many” Americans are moving from states that extend equal marriage rights to all to states that discriminate against same-sex couples?
Putting aside why in the world anyone might actually do this, it’s worth noting that there’s literally no evidence to support Schlafly’s assertion.
Right Wing Watch’s Miranda Blue, who posted an audio clip of Schlafly’s remarks, joked, “The liberal media must be covering up this mass exodus from marriage equality states, because we haven’t heard a single story of someone doing this.”
Also from the God Machine this week:
* This won’t end well: “Among the first bills moving through the Arizona Legislature this session is one that would provide significant new religious protections, some say to the point of legalizing discrimination. Senate Bill 1062, pushed by the conservative advocacy group Center for Arizona Policy and introduced by Sen. Steve Yarbrough, a Republican from Chandler, Ariz., would allow individuals to use religious beliefs as a defense in a lawsuit filed by another individual” (thanks to my colleague Tricia McKinney for the heads-up).
* Apparently, fights over school prayer aren’t quite over: “Lawmakers in South Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee are debating bills that are designed, supporters say, to ‘put prayer back in schools.’ The tactics vary, but in each case the desired outcome is the same: a potentially unconstitutional violation of the separation of church and state. And the legislators behind the bills aren’t shy about their motivations.”
* Sikhs get congressional support: “American Sikh leaders, disappointed that new Pentagon dress code requirements released on Wednesday do not go as far as the Sikhs would like, are turning to Congress to increase the pressure on the military.”
* And Glenn Beck argued this week that there are “forces at work” trying to keep his network off of cable television. Beck added, they “aren’t necessarily earthly forces.”