‘Same-Sex Marriage’ is the New ‘Struck by Lightning’: It’s Easier to Get Elected Than to Get Marriage

GETTING ELECTED: Gay candidates have an easier time at the polls than gay rights do. This is basically something we’ve known for a while: people are less homophobic when confronted with an actual gay person.

There are currently at least 445 openly gay and lesbian people holding elected office in the United States, up from 257 eight years ago, according to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a political group that supports gay candidates.

Some political scientists say the rise in openly gay candidates’ winning public office is a better barometer of societal attitudes than are the high-profile fights over same-sex marriage.

But do they want that gay person to get married? Does it ever bother you when people congratulate themselves on not hating you, or refusing to be your friend, like that’s some big achievement? I want to interview all of Sarah Palin’s gay friends for Autostraddle. (@nytimes)

NYE: Hey New Yorkers, do you have New Year’s Eve plans yet? It’s not too late to make some! You can still buy tickets to the Perfect Ten party at Chelsea Brewing Company. It’s $20 in advance or $30 at the door. The party goes until 6 a.m. kids, so take a nap beforehand, you will be up all night making out with someone super cute!

MAGAZINES: HuffPo has a depressing list of 25 magazines that folded in 2009. I don’t think I’ll ever get over Gourmet.

I never read i-D, but based on this cover, I think that magazine & I would’ve gotten along. (@huffingtonpost)

TRENDING TOPICS: What Twitter and Facebook’s 2009 top trends tell us about ourselves. It also tells us I think that twitter doesn’t know that True Blood is a tv show not a movie. (@mashable)

VOTING FOR WOMEN: The Washington Post sees Hillary Clinton’s “sound defeat” in the primaries last year as an indication of a larger, generational fault line in the feminist movement: “To younger voters, Clinton was both a relic of that era and a victim of its success. She was the wrong woman at the wrong time; she was a Clinton; she hadn’t gotten there on her own; a woman could be elected another year. After all, the reasoning went, it would be easy enough next time. Look how simple it had been for her.” (@wapo)

TRANS: Transgender people… understand more than anyone the high cost of gender, having adopted identities as adult neophytes. People often work harder than they think to maintain the boy/girl behaviours expected of them. You may have learned through painful trial-and-error not to use certain phrases, or to walk a certain way. After a while, learned gender behaviour becomes almost second nature, like trying to compensate for a weak eye. Again, transgender people are just experiencing what everyone goes through.”

From here on out Riese has taken over the Daily Fix with NONSENSE

JUDGE JUDY: Ten years of Judge Judy. These videos keep getting more and more incredible. If the founding fathers had known about this they would’ve invented Final Cut before cars. (@jezebel)

THE END OF THE OOs: You should read a few of these, they’re pretty good. (@the awl)

WE WILL HAVE TO JUST MEET UP AT RED LOBSTER: When the 2010 Sundance Film Festival kicks off in Park City in January, regulars might notice something missing among the unofficial party sites. The Queer Lounge, a hangout for gay and lesbian filmmakers to network and relax since 2004, will not open at Sundance this year.

EAT MY SHORTS: Why The Simpsons doesn’t matter now, but did, and has, so much: “I think that audiences’ sense of irony, and audiences’ willingness to accept a certain level of irreverence, have been really influenced by “The Simpsons.” (@salon)

SEX TAPES: The 00s in Sex Tapes, I didn’t even know most of these things happened, who are these people? (@huffpo)

LADY GAGA: Back in November this happened: “Ballet Russes Italian Style (The Shortest Musical You Will Never See Again), a performance by the artist Francesco Vezzoli, featuring the pop singer Lady Gaga and ballet dancers from the Bolshoi, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Los Angeles. In this audio slide show, Goodyear discusses this one-time spectacle, the atmosphere at rehearsals, and the début of Lady Gaga’s new song “Speechless.” (@newyorker)

PHOTOPLAY: “We Are Experienced includes football stars, anorexics, wiccans, punks, prom dates, snowboarders, and baton twirlers. Levitt revels in the beauty of the age and its incomparable potential. She also exposes an advanced awareness particular to a generation.” (@trend.land)

QUIZ SHOW: 2009: The Quiz – Were You Paying Attention? (@newyorker)

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Sarah lives in Chicago with her partner and her big white Great Dane. She is a lawyer by day and a beer brewer/bread baker/knitter by night. She & her partner are currently learning how to grow their own food, and eventually they hope to move to a small farm outside the city. In 2009-2010, before jetting off to law school, Sarah was Autostraddle's Managing Editor.

Sarah has written 127 articles for us.


  1. i’m almost completely sure i-D the fashion mag hasn’t folded, maybe you’re thinking of I.D. the design mag?

    • Well damn, the Huffington Post changed the cover since last night. They must’ve confused the two magazines. THIS MEANS I GET TO READ THE ONE WITH THE BOOBS ON THE COVER NOW, RIGHT?

    • Rachel, one time I met Ruth Reichl, and she had all great these plans for Gourmet. And then it closed, and she couldn’t do all that stuff, and now I’m SO sad.

  2. As someone who considers herself political, I’m really embarrassed by how poorly I did on that 2009 New Yorker quiz.

    • I failed too. I don’t know the names of everyone who said something dumb this year, how can I keep track of that hoolihay. although in some areas I did quite well, like the multi-choice questions with Glen Beck/Carrie Prejan/etc as answers AND I WAS PROUD OF MYSELF for knowing Paul Krugman and Arianna Huffington when I read them.

  3. wtf is the point of the hillary (two Ls thank you) comment? way to go lesbian site, let’s bash some more women and put them in their place. praise obama! or are you getting traffic from huffpo?

    oh and she wasnt soundly defeated. last time i checked 18.3m beats 17.9m. but who needs fact checking on a blog? lame!

    • what the hell? we linked to an article and quoted the article. we didn’t say that. Maybe you could read it, and then come back here, and talk to us about it.

    • -We spelled Hillary with two Ls.
      -That link is from the Washington Post, not the Huffington Post.
      -I don’t think it bashes women. I think it’s trying to explore a generation gap. The tone was mostly sad that Hillary lost.
      -Maybe you don’t think it was a sound defeat, but I mean, she didn’t make it past the primaries. So.

    • I’ll agree that “soundly” is a poor descriptor for a race that lasted so far into the primaries and wasn’t simply decided on Super Tuesday. But while it wasn’t the landslide delegate count that Bill Clinton enjoyed, it was an indisputable defeat.

      Obama won 52% of the pledged delegates and 54% of the total. Delegates are simply what matters in primaries and an 8% spread isn’t nothing. Hillary would have needed 47% – 13% more than she received – of the super delegate vote to win.

      As for the numbers you’re trying to use, that’s the popular vote and
      http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_vote_count.html is the closest I could find to the ones you chose. Given that for Clinton to come out ahead, one must estimate results that weren’t reported (the caucuses) and include Michigan where Obama was not on the ballot (factcheck.org http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/did_clinton_win_the_popular_vote.html explains how this changes the results), your numbers are SEVERELY flawed.

      Further, the popular vote in primaries is flawed by nature because the strategy is focused on delegates and the votes take place over several months making a mashed together popular vote a poor indicator of a victor.

      Hillary is a brilliant woman who ran a great campaign and is continuing to represent both women and the US well as Secretary of State. But let’s use facts to support her and focus on those who really are opposing the progress of women in politics instead of flipping out at Autostraddle for linking to an article you don’t appear to have read.

      Fact checking before you comment isn’t a bad idea either.

  4. That quiz just upset me because:

    1) Why, when only 74 of 435 Representatives are women, do two of them have to be SO DAMN CRAZY?!

    See: Representative Virginia Foxx (R.-North Carolina) and Representative Michele Bachmann (R.-Minnesota) questions 3-8.


    2) Senator Inhoff is an ignorant bigot with no regard for science or truth and less regard for humanity, but will likely stay in office FOREVER since he has discovered the Holy Trinity of Family (heterosexual, that is), Faith (the Christian one) and Firearms (all kinds) that guarantees electoral victory in Oklahoma. That is, unless we actually pass the term limits he claims to support though failed to stick to his personal promise of self-imposing.

    See: Question 18 in the quiz, his going to Copenhagen to deny US support (imagine the tar and feather brigade he would have launched if a senator had gone to a conference to publicly contradict Bush abroad!), his letter to me claiming gays in the military face 0 discrimination, and oh… everything he has ever said EVER.

    Sorry, had to get that out so I could sleep.

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