Tuesday, June 14, 2011
If You Don't Support Gay Marriage, Don't Get Gay Married!
Last year in a landmark case in California, two well-known lawyers were hired to sue the State of California to overturn Proposition 8, a ballot measure banning marriage equality (poorly called "gay marriage" or "same-sex marriage"). The judge in the case, Vaughn Walker, ruled against Prop 8; it later turned out that the judge himself was gay. Today a judge threw out an attempt to void Judge Walker's ruling made by right-wing bigots who claimed Walker had a conflict of interest.
I followed the Boies-Olsen case that overturned Prop 8. Despite today's ruling, it returns to the legal limbo of appeal, so it's not likely that marriage equality will return to California immediately. It's even possible that the case will find its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But what's fascinating about the Boies-Olsen case against Prop 8 is how thorough and methodical it was. The opponents of allowing gay people the same civil rights that straight people have rely on quick soundbites to make their case. When challenged to actually defend their case in a court of law, it turns out they don't have one. It's worth tracking down some of the summaries of the case from last year. Because one by one, the Boies-Olsen team calmly and coolly destroys every argument made by people who are shown in the end to be basing their arguments solely on their own bigoted notions. And while American law allows people to hold bigoted notions, even proclaim them loudly and freely in church or the public square, it does not allow them to hold bigoted notions over actual civil rights. Well, at least in theory.
This is why the right wing organizations like the detestable National Organization For [sic] Marriage, or NOM, would like so desperately to squelch the California case: because for once it shows that all the emotional, misleading, and ultimately lying propaganda that they spew is so much dishonest cover for nothing that might actually provide a legal basis for the denial of gay couples their right to marry. The trial and its verdict showed that the religious-fundamentalist arguments of such people have no bearing on civil law. The trial basically stripped the bigots' lies bare. Which they hate, more than anything, being caught with all their fake love-the-sinner-I-don't-hate-anybody posturing exposed as nothing but the bigotry it is.
Here in New York we're allegedly one Republican state senator vote away from marriage equality. We've been down this path before, with sad and disappointing results, but this time the politicos swear we have a chance. Two Republicans and several conservative Democrats are allegedly already committed to vote yes. The new governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bloomberg have been applying pressure to legislators. Bloomberg, who bankrolled last year's Republican recapture of the State Senate, is now saying he'll donate to the reelection campaigns of any Republican legislators who vote in favor of marriage equality (NOM and the Conservative Party who endorsed racist horse-fucker Carl Paladino last year are threatening to unseat any such Republicans). Friday is apparently the deadline for a vote.
It would be nice to see marriage equality come to New York in June, marked as Lesbian and Gay Pride Month. A happy ending is not guaranteed: finding that last vote is gonna be difficult. And frankly, should anybody be voting on the rights of minorities? There's a certain injustice in that in and of itself. And how about the irony of the "small government" advocates many of the rightwingers claim to be here advocating that the government stand in the way of civil rights? Remember that to the teabaggers, "freedom" means doing what they say.
Anyway, cross your fingers.