August 4, 2010

i just want to be tied to the back of your car


8/4/10

Readers of this blog - which might include my grandkids if I'm lucky - will no doubt look at today's entry and think "wait, they were still worrying about homosexuals getting married back then? what the FUCK?"... however ... us progressive types are doing the best we can, here at the beginning of the 21st century. And today in the culture wars, we kicked some Neanderthal ass.

A California judge struck down the bigoted, homophobic, putrescent hunk of shame known as Proposition 8 as unconstitutional under the equal protection clause, failing "to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license".

Yes, my friends from the future, this is what we deal with. Can you and your robots imagine?

Anyway, now it'll go to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which will uphold it, then on to the Supreme Court, where one Justice, a guy named Anthony Kennedy, will determine the future of gay marriage - and with it, I believe, much of the soul of America. That may sound overly emotional and dramatic, but these are the decisions that determine a nation's character, and our character has not been very kind recently.

In 1996, Anthony Kennedy himself said that any law that "classifies homosexuals not to further a proper legislative end but to make them unequal to everyone else" was unacceptable, so here's hoping. Of course, you've got the wingnut asspants of our national dialogue already calling out the California judge as gay and of course my Mormon folk in tha' 8-0-1 are glum, but who cares? Yes, my guests from the future, us liberals have to snatch our victories when we get 'em.

Prop8OverturnedCrowd.jpg

Posted by Ian Williams at August 4, 2010 11:45 PM
Comments
Posted by: killian at August 5, 2010 4:00 AM

WOOT. Here's to the past looking just a bit less Neanderthal and a wee bit more Fabulous. Hurray for California.

Posted by: Joanna at August 5, 2010 4:33 AM

And your prejudice won't keep you warm tonight.
I heart love! great news!

Posted by: Mom at August 5, 2010 6:38 AM

Deb Alexander on FaceBook wrote (with a nod to the Beach Boys) "I wish they all could be California Judges!"

Cool, Deb. wish I'd said that.

Posted by: tregen at August 5, 2010 6:48 AM

Future readers....

To help you understand our happiness and the depth of the neanderthal mentality at this time, our President (an African American - I know it doesn't seem like a big deal to you but at this time it is the first non-white male to hold the position) who comes from a racial and ethnic background does not believe that marriage between anyone other than heterosexual couples is a appropriate or should be legal. He believes forcing gay couples to sit at the back of the committed relationship bus. I'm sure, future reader, one day we will have a progressive president and probably when you are reading/transmitting via brain wave this blog entry, the word "conservative" will general refer to politicians against forcing all mandatory space craft seat belts. Hope all is well in the future.

PS: If time travel becomes a reality please come pick me up - wear all blue with a red hat so I will recognize that you are from the future.

Posted by: Kevin_In_Philadelphia at August 5, 2010 7:10 AM

I find it amusing that this decision came down the very week that Republicans started to seriously consider repealing the 14th Amendment.

Posted by: dean at August 5, 2010 7:35 AM

I am conservative but almost all my conservatism is based on fiscal policy. I truly could not care less about most social issues and I know that this makes me less a Republican, but I somehow sleep at night.

Personal feelings aside, my lawyer side tells me that there are 2 major decisions coming out of the Ninth Circuit this week (gay marriage & illegal immigrants) that will likely be overturned eventually. Both Judges wrote opinions that were on shaky LEGAL ground regardless of what one feels about the result.

The Ninth Circuit is notorious for being overturned and I think these decisions will follow suit.

Again . . . personally, I could not care less about the gay marriage issue.

Posted by: Going to the chapel and we're gonna get married at August 5, 2010 7:36 AM

Ian,

I'm waiting for your Republican guard posters to comment that this activist judge just ruled contrary to the will of the majority, citing the vote for Prop 8 as "proof" that the gay marriage ban was appropriate.

But, as our history has shown us, it takes a few brave judges, gay or not, to do the right thing every once in a while.

A judge determined that blacks and whites could be schooled together equally. A judge determined that blacks and whites could marry. And now a judge has ruled that gays can marry.

I'm happy for those who fight so hard to have what so very many hetero couples take for granted.

I'll listen to reasoned debate from those in opposition to this ruling, but I won't tolerate rhetoric from anyone opposing this ruling who has been divorced, cheated on their spouse or is in the closet, yet rails against gay rights. Close-mindedness and hypocrites lost yesterday. Freedom to choose and happiness won out.

Huzzah my gay, committed friends in long time relationships who are yearning to be married.

Where will the reception be held and will there be an open bar, cause I want to be there when you walk down the aisle . . . looking FABULOUS, I'm sure.

Posted by: Kjf at August 5, 2010 9:35 AM

Let's just hope the temporary stay is lifted so marriages can resume in California (and I can see my daughter get married.)

Posted by: ChrisM at August 5, 2010 10:52 AM

American judges have a remarkable ability to bravely identify fundamental constitutional rights shortly before a majority of citizens come to the same conclusion.

Posted by: Annie H. at August 5, 2010 10:59 AM

A neurotic minority is not and never will be a majority. Prop 8 was passed by a hysterical MINORITY.

To Dean and all those who 'could not care less' about gay marriage: Will you start caring if it turns out that your son or daughter is gay? I ask in all seriousness. What about your best friend? Your mother? Your brother? We are on our way to opening all closet doors, but stigma remains, and someone very close to you, whom you love deeply, just might turn out to be gay.

Also, I fail to see how the legal grounds of the repeal of Prop 8 are any shakier than the legal grounds that established it. Anyone care to add detail?

Posted by: Annie H. at August 5, 2010 11:02 AM

To my point above: Just read a cute comic on Facebook that saith:

"If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people.

They're the ones who keep having gay babies."

Posted by: Bob at August 5, 2010 1:10 PM

In 50 years we'll look back on those who opposed gay marriage the same way we look at Senator Bilbo today--which is to say, we'll have forgotten them. That's a pity, really, because while those who oppose gay rights will eventually recede into the past, their ideological progeny will continue to use the same tactics to push future issues that are bound to be equally loathsome.

Posted by: Amy S. at August 5, 2010 2:16 PM

From Amy Heidt on Facebook: "Congrats, California. You finally did what Jesus would do."

Posted by: John at August 5, 2010 3:15 PM

Dean, I don’t know you from Adam’s housecat, but something about your post – innocuous as it seemed at first – really irked me this morning, and Annie H.’s response clarified it for me. I find it shameful that you ‘couldn’t care less’ about social issues. I’m sure there were plenty of good German citizens who felt the same way about Jews in the thirties. I’m sure there were plenty of good Christian North Carolinians who felt the same way about black people in the fifties (including my parents). Sometimes, you just have to give a damn when basic human rights are denied.

I struggled for years to let go of the homophobic attitudes I picked up in junior high, high school and even at my beloved UNC, and when I think back on some of the things I said or did back then I’m filled with shame. Even worse was my indifference. But I can no longer be indifferent when fellow American citizens – my friends, my family – are denied the same rights as me.

And as far as the “legal argument” goes, it’s entirely possible that Brown V. Board of Education wouldn’t stand up under certain “legal” interpretations, either. That’s not the point. It’s just not. As Judge Walker himself said, “When challenged, however, the voters’ determinations must find at least some support in evidence. This is especially so when those determinations enact into law classifications of persons. Conjecture, speculation and fears are not enough. Still less will the moral disapprobation of a group or class of citizens suffice, no matter how large the majority that shares that view. The evidence demonstrated beyond serious reckoning that Proposition 8 finds support ONLY IN SUCH DISAPPROVAL. As such, Proposition 8 IS BEYOND THE CONSTITUTIONAL REACH OF THE VOTERS OR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES.” Federal OR state.

Or, to put it another way: “… Our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that ALL MEN are created EQUAL.” And maybe someday we will be able to abide by some other words from the same dude: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by THE BETTER ANGELS OF OUR NATURES.”

Just give a damn. Gay marriage isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things, and yet, it is.

Posted by: Tammy O. at August 5, 2010 3:52 PM

Supporting gay marriage is actually quite a conservative value. Legalizing gay marriage reinforces the institution itself as a cornerstone of American society; allowing more people to take part in these "traditional" family structures highlights the importance of those structures. I don't understand why more family values types don't understand this.

Personally, I'd rather the government get out of the marriage business altogether - civil unions/domestic partnerships all around! Make the civil contract the constitutional right - let churches and other religious institutions sanctify whatever they want (or don't want to). They can have marriage!

I realize, though, that approximately nobody else feels this way. And, of course, I'm all for gay marriage - conservative value or not.

Go, gay marriage!

Posted by: tregen at August 5, 2010 8:16 PM

What Tammy O said.

Posted by: Annie H. at August 9, 2010 12:03 PM

Amen, John & Tammy! Just wanted to post this great article from Salon which addresses the "shaky legal ground" argument square-on:


http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/08/09/marriage/index.html

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