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For those out there who don’t follow the excellent Glenn Greenwald, be sure to check out his column from earlier this week on the nation’s rapid progress on marriage equality. As Greenwald writes, it’s clearly grounds for a more general optimism regarding the prospects of societal progress in any number of areas:

“It really is a bit shocking how quickly gay marriage transformed from being a fringe, politically toxic position just a few years ago to a virtual piety that must be affirmed in decent company. Whenever I write or speak about any of the issues on which I focus, I always emphasize that a posture of defeatism – which is a form of learned impotence: a belief that meaningful change is impossible – is misguided. This demonstrates why that is true: even the most ossified biases and entrenched institutional injustices can be subverted – if the necessary passion and will are summoned and the right strategies found.”

But, as Greenwald also notes, one needs to be careful in assuming that progress for LGBT Americans automatically heralds progress for other oppressed groups: Read More

Kay HaganRaleigh’s News & Observer reports that she has endorsed masrriage equality.

The article quotes Hagan as saying:

“I know there are strong feelings on both sides, and I have a great deal of respect for their opinions. But after much thought and prayer on my part this is where I am today. I know all our families do not look alike. We all want the same thing for our families. We want happiness, we want health, prosperity, a bright future for our children and grandchildren. After conversations I’ve had with family members, with people I go to church with and with North Carolinians from all walks of life, I’ve come to my own personal conclusion that we should not tell people who they can love, or who they can marry. It’s time to move forward with this issue.”

Good work. About time.

Not that this comes as a surprise, but there is concrete evidence in a new report that the repeal of the old and silly U.S. military policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” has had no negative impact on military readiness.

Here’s a summary of some of the main findings in the study courtesy of Think Progress:

  • Repealing DADT has had no overall negative impact on military readiness, including cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment, or morale. Read More
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Rob Christensen, a veteran political columnist with Raleigh’s News & Observer, devoted his weekly column this weekend to the hubbub that has arisen around Chick-Fil-A restaurant.

The point of the column was a little unclear, but it seems to have been that it’s ultimately futile for groups of consumers to boycott businesses whose politics they disagree with and that those who attempt such a thing are “intolerant.”

Christensen quotes Democratic political operative Gary Pearce at the end of the column as follows: “The lesson: Eat up. Enjoy the hotdogs and chicken sandwiches. Good Karma will come around.”

He also makes the following statement of his own: “The left’s intolerance of different views is matched only by the right.”

Christensen, it seems, is trying to give voice to the longing held by so many Americans — a group in which I certainly include myself — for a less-politicized time in which the country didn’t seem so divided up into warring camps; a time, for instance, in which people didn’t think so much about the politics of the companies they patronized.

Unfortunately, while lots of caring and thinking people sympathize with this sentiment, the hard truth of the matter is that Read More