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Queer Town

Proposition 8: Thirteen Out-of-State Attorney Generals Don't Want California Gays to Get Married, Join George Wallace in History Books

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Tue, Nov 23, 2010 at 8:00 AM
click to enlarge Prop. 8 supporter and Alabama Attorney General Troy King
  • Prop. 8 supporter and Alabama Attorney General Troy King

With the appeal hearing for the Proposition 8 lawsuit set for Monday, December 6, we thought it would be a good time to look into the out-of-state attorney generals who stuck their noses into California's business and filed a friendly brief on the behalf of anti-gay marriage forces.

The mainstream media, as far as we know, haven't named each member of this shady crew, so these politicians have been able to keep working under the radar with few people holding them accountable for taking an ugly stand against equality.

We plan to change that ...

After U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker found Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional in August, 13 attorney generals soon dragged their states into the mean business of advocating for legalized discrimination by filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in support of the ballot measure that bans same-sex marriage in California.

Undoubtedly, they're concerned that gay marriage will soon come to their states, so these politicians -- who include 11 Republicans and 2 Democrats -- are trying to somehow keep that from happening.

Here's the list of The Mean Thirteen:

Republican Troy King of Alabama; Republican Daniel S. Sullivan of Alaska; Republican Bill McCollum of Florida; Republican Lawrence Wasden of Idaho; Republican Gregory Zoeller of Indiana; Democrat James D. "Buddy" Caldwell of Louisiana; Republican Mike Cox of Michigan; Republican Jon Bruning of Nebraska; Republican Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania; Republican Henry McMaster of South Carolina; Republican Mark Shurtleff of Utah; Republican Ken Cuccinelli of Virginia; and Democrat Bruce Salzburg of Wyoming.

click to enlarge Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff
  • Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff

When we looked into The Mean Thirteen's political backgrounds, we noticed a few other things.

Ten of these men -- Cuccinelli, King, McCollum, Wasden, Bruning, Corbett, McMaster, Cox, Shurtleff, and Caldwell -- have filed lawsuits seeking to overturn President Barack Obama's health care reform law.

In Alabama, Troy King has been the subject of gay rumors for years, but the mainstream media apparently refuses to look into the man's sexual orientation.

Reporters are often times excruciatingly cautious about "outing" anyone, but if a closeted gay politician files a legal brief to oppose gay marriage, we can't see how such a situation is not worthy of a journalistic investigation.

In Florida, Bill McCollum, a long-time right-winger who served in Congress for years, recently fought against gays adopting children.

In Michigan, an assistant attorney general named Andrew Shirvell had been criticized by gay rights activists for allegedly cyber-bullying University of Michigan student Chris Armstrong, an openly gay man who was elected student body president.

click to enlarge Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox
  • Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox

When activists demanded that Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox should take action against Shirvell, Cox essentially told them to buzz off, noting Shirvell was blogging his hate during off-hours.

It wasn't until CNN's Anderson Cooper looked into the controversy that Cox took the matter more seriously and subsequently fired Shirvell.

King, McCollum, Cox, and the rest of The Mean Thirteen can now add supporting Proposition 8 to their political resumes.

Just like former Alabama Governor George Wallace, who will always be remembered for his discriminatory stances, Shurtleff, Caldwell, and the rest will forever be known in history books as politicians who also backed inequality in America.

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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