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MARRIAGE: Kirby failed to show leadership

Letter by Paul J. Orheim, Puyallup on Feb. 10, 2012 at 2:52 pm with 45 Comments »
February 10, 2012 2:52 pm

State Rep. Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma, states that he voted against same-sex marriage, because he’s a representative (TNT, 2-10). Does that mean he is not a leader but just a mouthpiece?

His campaign website says he is “one of the most influential voices in the Legislature.” When the chips were down here, just who did he try to influence?

Look, I like Steve; he’s a good Democrat and there for working people when it’s important. But he needs to lead or get out of the way.

Leave a comment Comments → 45
  1. taxedenoughintacoma says:

    He voted the way he should have voted. And will be reelected because he did.

  2. I wish there were more politicians like him. I don’t agree with his vote and he is not my representative, but “his” people spoke clearly to him and he had the courage to vote as they wanted him to against his own beliefs. It has nothing to do with leadership. He is not there to be a leader OF his people but FOR his people, and as he stated… a representative. Your assessment and name calling is uncalled for and all too prevelant in today’s politics. What happened to civility? Mr Orheim, you need to look up the definition of REPRESENTATIVE.

  3. sandblower says:

    Being a representative has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue. The issue is clearly one of human rights and there were enough wise legislators who realized that to enact the legislation.
    Kirby’s vote, because his constituency demanded it, is a complete and total nonsense interpretation of his responsibilities to all humanity.

  4. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Steve Kirby – Thank You for being a leader and a representative of the sane members of your constituency!!! Recognizing abnormal behavior is abnormal!!

  5. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Everyone remember Steve Conway and Connie Ladenburg – they voted with the abnormal folks amongst us and should be removed from office at the earliest opportunity!!

  6. sandblower and 3rdpigshouse…I rest my case about civility. Your village called…

  7. ManuelMartini says:

    I don’t find anything normal about 3rd

  8. stradivari says:

    Maybe Kirby voted against his conscience because he needs the job.

  9. MM – you beat me to the punch regarding 3rdpig and abnormal behavior….

  10. BlaineCGarver says:

    They are called representatives for a good reason.

  11. Tacomalover says:

    He failed the LGBT members of his district. A representative speaks for the minority more so than the Majority and when it comes to Civil rights he without a doubt failed!

    Sorry Kriby you now and forever will live on the wrong side of history!

  12. areyoulistening says:

    Kirby did what ALL representatives should. He voiced and supported the will of the people. Should he be a “Leader” as in “Sheepherder” and lead the majority in a direction they don’t want to go? What a moronic statement. We are a Democracy and in a Democracy the Majotiy rules. Special interest groups and their legislative supporters have no business in a government “of the People, by the People and for the People.” But then, we are heading full steam into a Socialist government and we are all real close to becoming “subjects” and not Citizens. There is an old saying that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and us “normal” people need to start sqeaking, and loudly!

  13. Supporting the will of the people when it volates human rights is the very definition of “tyranny of the majority.”
    Instead of “listening,” try reading.

  14. ThinkerDem says:

    The title “Representative” reflects the type of government we have, i.e.meaning that the district/state/city elects individuals to represent them in legislative bodies. It does not require, or even suggest that Representative, Senators, Council Members, etc. must support the majority view of their constituents, otherwise, we would be governed by referendum. Sometimes the majority is wrong! Imagine if a referendum had decided the civil rights issues of the 1960s–there would still be “white” or “colored” drinking fountains, schools, hotels,etc. I suspect Kirby is looking to his next election. No church will be required to administer their marriage sacrament/rite to any couple they do not want to marry, but they do not own the word “marriage”. Civil marriage is a civil matter and same sex civil marriage is a civil right. No opponent has yet been able to show how same-sex marriage harms anyone’s heterosexual marriage. They simply wish to force everyone to live by their religous view, whether they share it or not. Rather like the Catholic Bishops and zealots like Santorum would like to eradicate birth control for everyone, not only their adherents.

  15. bobcat1a says:

    The words of Sir Edmund Burke, normally an icon of conservative American thinkers, on the role of representatives:
    “Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

  16. bobcat1a says:

    BTW, the above quote from Burke can be found on “The Founders’ Constitution”
    Anyone who thinks about representative government should read the whole speech from which it comes.

  17. bobcat, excellent find. Thanks.
    Maybe bcg and others will disappear for a while and take their h..e with them.

  18. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Rule by a loud and abnormal minority is not rule by a representative majority!!

  19. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Steve Kirby voted as his proper judgement, moral character dictated, and the majority of citizens support!!

  20. concernedtacoma7 says:

    A politician does not vote the party line and the partisan hacks call for a hanging in the town square. They have no respect for our system of govt. If more leaders on both sides actually voted for the people they represent and not for big donors and fringe groups, we would all be better off, meeting in the middle on most issues. Unfortunately for America, we have the most partisan leader in modern memory leading the democratic party. I see his blind followers falling right in step. Scary times.

  21. Pacman33 says:

    What’s at issue here is not whether people can declare themselves married and find other people to agree with them and treat them as such. No, what’s in contention is whether the government should force everyone to recognize such “marriages.” Far from being a liberating thing, the forced recognition of same-sex “marriage” is a governmental intrusion of monumental proportions.

    Liberty and freedom is precisely what the advocates of same-sex “marriage” want to destroy; they want to use the government’s power to force everyone to recognize same-sex unions as marriages whether they want to or not.

  22. Pacman, yours is the religious argument,a fter all. The only reason you have been able to spouut is based on your personal religious views.

    The government intrusion here is in setting up a contract provision that gives governmental benefits and societal recognition and perks. When government decided to grant those benefits to all and then defined the exceptions, then the Constitution comes into play.

    The Constitution says that the benefits of government and the equal protection under the law must be available to all people. In a long host of court cases, the Supreme Court has narrowed down to three basic elements the governmental intrusion into the right of marriage must satisfy.

    Government may intrude and limit marriage rights if the marriage harms the people involved (child marraige, for example), harms others (marriage with close relatives, for example) or harms the foundations of our democracy (polygamy, fo example – and read the court cases, ’cause I can’t begin to summarize that one).

    The court threw out any defense of government intrusion based on religion, tradition, generally held beliefs by the majority, and a long list of other ways states tried to defend their intrusive marriage laws.

    If gay marriage will harm your life, then prove it with facts, not your irrational, fear-based lecturing.

    So what if I do not recognize your marriage. I haven’t ever sent you an anniversary card or a wedding present. You can ignore my opposite-sex marriage or my grandson’s same-sex marriage and not recognize them, either.

    However, the Constitution says that equal protection under the law is one of our basic principles when government does decide to intrude, like it does when it sets out to define marriage.

  23. Pacman33 says:

    If the “Constitution says” all of what you claim, why isn’t gay “marriage” law? Why is their not a single nondiscrimination law recognized at the federal level based on one’s sexual preference?

    I’ll tell you, why. Because behavior should not be recognized as a factor to distinguish one population from another. Laws should not be created or amended based on a behavioral characteristic. Courts have ruled on the basis recognizing race/skin color; a benign, immutable trait that has no bearing on an individual’s ……. behavior.

  24. Pacman33 says:

    The institutions of society acknowledged heterosexual marriages on the basis of historical and cultural preferences dating back millennia. The government didn’t decide this; society did. Government recognition of traditional marriage was not a change forced upon society, but rather a legal codification of what society had already established.

    Religion and it’s ritual of marriage predates the government that the the kindness of the church would lend it’s institution of marriage to. If the thought of such a malicious action as this could have been predicted, I’m sure the church would have thought twice before endowing such a gift.

    The key difference between traditional marriage and same-sex “marriage,” however, is that the government, in acknowledging heterosexual marriage, does not force anything on society; it merely effects the enforcement of a contract that all—or nearly all—people accept as valid and sensible. Same-sex “marriage,” by contrast, is not seen as such by most people; forcing individuals to recognize it is not the legal codification of an existing social reality, but instead a radical social change forced by a few on the many.

  25. Pacman, you could have asked the same questions about interracial marriages and rights of blacks in America at certain times.

    Before government intrusion into marriage, people were married if they said they were married. If two men wanted to live in the woods and call themselves married, they could.

    Not until there was intrusion by government (I think most agree for positive reasons) did it make any difference. When government intrudes it must be for the benefit of society and it must not discriminate against anyone if there is no good reason for it.

    Same-sex marriage is supported by 55% of Americans, so it is “most people”. You lose on that argument, which I reject anyway, because majorities do not get to vote on basic human rights like marriage. That is why the 9th circuit said Prop 8 in California was unconstitutional, and why I think all anti-gay marriage laws will eventually be thrown out.

    When Virginia defended its interracial marriage laws, it used the exact same arguments that you are using, and the Supreme Court said they were totally invalid reasons for restricting marriage as a basic human right.

  26. And, speaking of invalid reasons for government to restrict marriage rights, 3rdpig always has one. If we looked at who most people in society consider “abnormal”, (a term I am repeating only to show its inanity) then we would find that, yes they get to marry, too.

    Do the following get to marry?

    – convicted criminals – yes
    – people with mental illness or metal disability – yes (if they can – legally enter into a contract)
    – people who carry genetic markers for inherited diseases and conditions – yes
    – nude bicyclists – yes
    – Wiccans (O.8%) – yes
    – Americans who agree with the Tea Party (20% and falling rapidly) – yes

  27. Pacman33 says:

    Sexual preference is a human behavioral characteristic.
    Race/skin color is a benign, immutable trait that has no bearing on an individual’s …… behavior.

    Comparison of the two is a convenient but invalid argument.

    In fact, it is spitting in the face off blacks to compare the gay “marriage” campaign to the struggle for civil rights for the black community. Furthermore, it exposes who the racists and the bigots truly are, when the recognition of civil rights for blacks are compared to the recognition of gay’s behavior. A behavior that is yet to be proven merely more than individual choice, with any conclusive evidence.

    Is it possible to be anymore degrading to blacks, than that?

  28. ampenalver says:

    Perfectly said, Mr. Orheim. We should elect legislators to make laws, not to refer them back to us whenever it’s politically expedient.

  29. computer1015 says:

    Yes, stradivari, knowing Kirby, he wants to keep his job. But I don’t know about his conscience.

  30. ManuelMartini says:

    Pacman – join the current century. Black skin and homosexuality are both genetic.

  31. ManuelMartini says:

    “A politician does not vote the party line and the partisan hacks call for a hanging in the town square.”

    If a Republican, the “TEA Party” gets a well funded (read: Koch) candidate to run against them in the primary.

    Yeah, THOSE partisan hacks.

  32. Pacman33 says:

    “The Current Century” being the point in time when leftists (or ‘Progressives’) have become nothing but shameless, compulsive liars that have no depths to their dishonesty. The point in time when the left’s deception, distortion and outright fabrication composes the overall majority of their narrative.


    “Biology and sexual orientation is the subject of research into the role of biology in the development of human sexual orientation. No simple, single cause for sexual orientation has been conclusively demonstrated.”

  33. EqualityNow says:

    It’s disappointing that Kirby doesn’t believe in the importance of equality. In our country, everyone deserves access to equality, including gay and lesbian people. In the future, when gay and lesbian people have full equality, Kirby will be remembered as being on the wrong side of history. Kirby’s actions are unsettling and sad, to say the least.

  34. Pacman33 says:

    State Rep. Steve Kirby can’t grant the ability to partake in the natural procreation of a child. Nor the ability to provide the most diverse and comprehensive parental presence of a Mother and a Father for that child.

    The notion that we can have “equality” for all is a fiction, a chimera that can never possibly be realized. “Equality” would indeed require, an inequality in authority for those who administer the terms of what is finally “equal” and who it applies to. An inequality in authority that determines if a behavior and which is worthy of being granted this “equality”.

    “Equality” is nothing but a Marxist Utopian term used to incite Class Struggle, Class Warfare or full fledged Revolution. The beauty of it all is that it can never be achieved by and for ‘Useful Idiots’ that fall for it. The endless struggle.

  35. ManuelMartini says:

    Can the Heritage Foundation post on wiki?

    Sure they can.

    Speaking of “liars”, remember when HF and friends wiki’ed ’til the cows came home to make Bachmann’s faux pax about Paul Revere become “true”?

  36. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Wasn’t that Palin? And how is that relevant?

    MaxIne Waters admits she is a socialist. BHO states there are 57 states. Biden makes a ridiculous comment once a day.

    Grow up you sexist loser.

    Back on topic- the progressives are trying to redefine ‘marriage’. They are furthering a social agenda that eats away at America’s core values, while ignoring real issues like passing a budget.

  37. Pacman, hating the quest for equal protection under our laws like you do is really disgusting, especially in an American.

    I know that there is a long history in our country of people who try to keep women, racial, sexual and other minorities, Catholics, Muslims, Jews, people with disabilities and others under the yoke of the white Christian gentlemen landowners, but we move on.

    Progressives win this argument and help obtain rights for all people in the end, because it is in our national character to move toward justice and equal treatment under the law.

    Justice and equal treatment are the foundations of liberty for all. Without the foundation of equal treatment, liberty and freedom (the catch words of the libertarians and tea partiers who really mean liberty and freedom for the mighty and rich only, are unreachable for many in our society.

  38. a loud and abnormal minority

    3rdpig keeps describing himself….

  39. Pacman33 asks “why is there not a single not discrimination law at the federal level base on one’s sexual preference?”

    The answer is there are such laws – the Equal Employment Opportunity, Fair Labor, and Fair Housing Acts being such laws. With the end of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”, we have a fourth example.

    Now Pac33 – show us where having children is a marriage requirement.

    If the notion that we can have equality for all is a fiction then so is the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

    CT7 – and how many core values is the conservacon GOP trying to redefine while ignoring the real problems such as tax loopholes and subsides for rich foreign corporations?

  40. If you want to read a history of marriage over the last 3 millenia, then I recommend a short version by a Jesuit priest and historian here:

    He reaffirms what I know to be factual, that marriage has an ever-changing meaning, included same-sex marriages for a longer period than it has excluded them, and was only recently changed to mean an emotional and sacred union of a man and a woman.

    Here is a snippet from this scholar in “A Catholic History of Marriage”:

    “3,000 years of History”: Maybe the most frustrating thing I have heard in the recent debate is this claim that has become a mantra: that we are in the process of changing some allegedly unchanging 3,000-year-old institution called “marriage.” Of course, the decision to grant marriage licenses would be a “change” in marriage practice – but “marriage,” whatever that is, is always in the process of being changed. To pretend that its alteration is somehow a rupture in what is otherwise a three-thousand year continuity is just silly.”


  41. elderjustice2010 says:

    Anyone who lobbies and takes money from those that profit from elder exploitation over that of an elder vulnerable adult is no friend of ours.

  42. Pac33,
    While the ORIGINAL EEOC did not include sexual orientation, Executive Orders 11478, 12106, and 13087 issued on or after 1-15-2009 modifies the EEOC to include sexual orientation.


    One does not find capitalism in either the Declaration or the Constitution, but that does not stop the sophomoric conseracons from claiming protected status.

  43. ManuelMartini says:

    Oh yeah…it was Palin’s stupidity for trying to cover Bachmann that opened up the Heritage Foundation’s “change wiki” department.

    How silly of me! I was going to let Palin off the hook.

    Meanwhile, the point in context to this subject is that wiki is not a reliable source, as Heritage and others will bastardize it for political gain.

    Someone take ct7’s blinders off. The eyes, when allowed, will see over 180 degrees.

  44. ManuelMartini says:

    “Like I said COMPULSIVE LIARS.
    Your entire comment is crap. Are you a union member?”

    Hey….CT7….I think you need to get paccie back on topic

  45. Pacman, such ignorance would not be tolerated in a 3rd grade classroom.

    Please read the Constitution again. In it you will find that “equal protection under the law” is included, and that is what we are talking about.

    Your definition of “equality” when talking about constitutional progtections and basic human civil rights does not trump that of the Supreme Court. When a president nominates you to the Supreme Court, and you get a majority to go along with you, then I might be swayed. Otherwise, there are too many deciisions that say equal protection under the law is most definitely in the constitution.

    The Supreme Court said that the constitution guaranteed equality (and used that word) in cases under the due process clause as well as the equal protection clause in cases relating to indigent individuals, national origin minorities, racial minorities, religious minorities, sexual minorities, and women, as well as in cases involving the right to travel, the right to vote, and the right to access the courts.

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