Five by 8 – 8/5/10: Considering marriage

1) The story-of-the-day continues to be the story of yesterday. The debate over whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry (See my earlier post).

None of the local papers bothered editorializing on the decision today. But a few of the national ones did.

The New York Times:

To justify the proposition’s inherent discrimination on the basis of sex and sexual orientation, he wrote, there would have to be a compelling state interest in banning same-sex marriage. But no rational basis for discrimination was presented at the two-and-a-half-week trial in January, he said. The real reason for Proposition 8, he wrote, is a moral view “that there is something wrong with same-sex couples,” and that is not a permissible reason for legislation.

San Jose Mercury News:

Today is a thrilling one for those who believe in that American ideal of equality for all. The fight is far from over. But Walker’s decision provides a measure of hope that as the case is appealed to the 9th Circuit and ultimately the Supreme Court, facts will continue to win out over fear-mongering and bigotry.

So what now? The issue will most certainly head for an appeals court and then, perhaps, the U.S. Supreme Court. What are the prospects? NPR’s Tovia Smith considers the question.’s Nate Silver posits that the swing vote at the Supreme Court may rest on an old man and his legacy:

It seems to me that most of the “intangibles” bear upon Justice Kennedy in ways that favor his finding Constitutional protection for same-sex marriage. For one thing, he’ll be 75 or 76 by the time the SCOTUS hears this case, and will probably be thinking about his legacy. Given that, in 50 years’ time, American society will almost certainly regard the plaintiff’s position (the Constitution does not permit discrimination in marriage on the basis of sexual orientation) as the right one, that legacy would be better served by casting the decisive vote in favor of the plaintiffs.

2) What happens to computer game players when they grow up? They figure out how to use computer game models to solve scientific equations:

3) The mystery of the white film. In the Brainerd area, there’s been a sudden rash of white film on dishes cleaned in the dishwasher. If you don’t have a water softener, you’ve probably seen this before, but it hit all at once in the region, the Brainerd Dispatch reports. Summer rainfall? Not likely. Road and pipe construction? Perhaps. Blame the stimulus.

4)I haven’t had sex for 40 million years. Should I worry?” Let’s see you ignore that headline.

5) Every now and again, some newspaper somewhere does a feature with a town’s oldest resident, who gives her — ever notice it’s almost always a her? — tips for living a life well. Freyda Siegel of Massachusetts is today’s adviser. It’s a charming little slideshow that reinforces the notion that I should be dead by now.

Reader Derek Schille, who occasionally forwards 5×8 material (and why aren’t you?), asks “how does someone live up to the legacy of this generation,” now that he’s seen the Denver Post blog entry on color photos of the Depression. This is his favorite:



The federal judge who overturned a same-sex marriage ban approved by California voters ruled that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry. Should a judge be able to overrule a decision by voters?


Midmorning (9-11 a.m.) – First hour: For the first time ever, a patient will receive embryonic stem cells injected into their spine as researchers embark on the first human trials for spinal cord repair. But for now it’s adult stem cell research that looks most promising.

Second hour: Science writer Mary Roach researched what it would take to prepare a settlement on Mars. What she found was that humans would need to rethink nearly everything we take for granted on earth to live on the red planet.

Midday (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) – First hour: DFL gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton.

Second hour: The Farmfest gubernatorial debate.

Talk of the Nation (1-3 p.m.) – First hour: The meaning, and misunderstandings, of mosques. The proposed mosque near ground zero is just the latest example of tensions between Muslims and many other Americans.

Second hour: How we talk about race. Skip Gates. Shirley Sherrod. The immigration debate in Arizona. The anticipated post-racial era seems to be fraught with heated conversations about race. Barack Obama, the candidate, called for a national conversation on race. Is this what

he envisioned?

All Things Considered (3-6:30 p.m.) – Nine candidates are on the Aug. 10 DFL primary ballot to run for the Senate District 67 seat held by Mee Moua, the first Hmong legislator elected in the country. MPR’s Jess Mador has a profile.

Marc Cohn comes to the Minnesota Zoo to sing his versions of his favorite songs from when he was a boy in 1970. Euan Kerr has the story today. NPR did it last week.

  • Alison

    \\None of the local papers bothered editorializing on the decision today. But a few of the national ones did.

    Not surprising. I’m a frequent participant in discussions on the issue and even I need a little breather. The NOM and OutFront rallies last week, the Target/Best Buy controversy, the story of the not-gay male pastor who is attracted to men that MPR ran yesterday, the gay Republican senator facing a primary challenge this morning…that’s a lot of coverage on LGBT issues even for me.

    Of course the Prop 8 ruling is wonderful and amazing news worth celebrating. I’m looking forward to the day when LGBT equality is no longer news. One day these stories will be regarded as the closing of another sad chapter of history when Americans chose to ignore the high ideals enshrined in our Constitution. And as with the closing of the previous chapters of history, change will be won due to the efforts of brave people who stood up to the discriminating majority and called on them to live up to the ideals this nation was founded on.

  • kwatt

    I love that one of the tags for the science sex story is “dry spell.”