Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Prop 8 gets mightily overturned

Bye-bye Prop 8! The homophobic cohort schemed and slimed their way into amending California's constitution--which isn't at all difficult, by the way, be careful where you sneeze or you'll amend the state constitution by accident. The lawsuits started flying immediately, but before the "OMG TEH GAY" contingent won a temporary victory, 18,000 gay couples had received marriage licenses. Said contingent immediately violated their promise not to try and have those marriages invalidated. Good work, guys! It must be nice to have a God of love and forgiveness who hates all the same people you do.

Today, however, Judge Vaughn Walker of the Northern California District Court--

I'm sorry, I have to interject here with a Wikipedia quote.
Walker's original nomination to the bench by Ronald Reagan in 1987 stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee because of controversy over his representation of the United States Olympic Committee in a lawsuit that prohibited the use of the title "Gay Olympics". Two dozen House Democrats, led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, opposed his nomination because of his alleged "insensitivity" to gays and the poor. Years later, the San Francisco Chronicle noted the irony of this opposition due to Walker's sexual orientation.
Right, so the judge is an openly gay Reagan appointee. Moving on.

The case is Perry v. Schwarzenegger, and here's why it's awesome:
Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
Here's the PDF of the full decision. Here's a few more juicy quotes from Talking Points Memo. And here's a CNN bit describing the next steps through the appeals process.

I can see where the Supreme Court wouldn't want to touch this with a ten-foot pole: this would be the defining decision on gay rights. I imagine the Ninth Circuit will let the decision stand, and then the Supreme Court decides whether to hear it or not. If they don't, it becomes binding precedent for the Ninth Circuit, and just strongly advisory for the other twelve circuits (most of which are far more politically conservative than the Ninth). They might not hear it: I can see them not wanting to touch this with a ten-foot pole, and they sometimes like to have conflicting circuit court decisions before they hear an issue.

Who knows? In the meantime, it's a strongly-worded, heartwarming decision.

(UPDATE: FYI, the "God hates all the same people you do" isn't original to me. It's an anecdote from Anne Lamott, who seems to me more quotable than readable..)

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing how emphatic and outspoken people can be about this issue without considering the individuals involved. The line where you said "It must be nice to have a God of love and forgiveness who hates all the same people you do" strikes me in particular. So, when God said to love your neighbor, he meant only if that one isn't gay? No, wrong.