Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Following up on Prop8 trial and other equality issues

Margaret Talbot, of the New Yorker, has kept a blog about the Prop8 trial. Well worth reading.
You sometimes hear it said that a courtroom is not the best venue for playing out battles in the culture wars—better that they be fought in the legislature, or at the ballot box, or even in the blogosphere. But following the Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial over the past three weeks has been a reminder that a courtroom can also be a great and theatrical classroom, where the values of thoroughness, precision in speech, and the obligation to reply have a way of laying bare the fundamentals of certain rhetorical positions.

And, it isnt a slam dunk to get to the Supreme Court, either. From FindLaw:
This case is, as noted above, destined for the Ninth Circuit. But whether it goes any farther depends on what the Ninth Circuit does. If the Ninth Circuit (either through a three-judge panel or the whole court sitting en banc) rules in favor of the plaintiffs and invalidates Proposition 8, then the Supreme Court may very well feel it must take the case, since same-sex marriage would be a federal right west of Rockies but not in most other parts of the country. But if the Ninth Circuit rejects the plaintiffs' claims, don't expect the Supreme Court to take the up the issue of same-sex marriage anytime soon. Still, when the Justices do address some future anti-same-sex-marriage measure enacted into law by a state -- and down the road, they may have to do so -- they'll have the benefit of the trial record in the Proposition 8 case, as well the opinions and/or evidence from other cases that will have been decided in the interim.
Meanwhile, a right-wing religious nut from the American Family Association calls to imprsion all gays. Thus making our point for us. Commentary from Inch at a Time (I won't link to hate sites). Let's be clear what we're up against.

Update Last night on Hardball, a different nut, Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council said that gays should be imprisoned.
"I think that the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas which overturned the sodomy laws in this country was wrongly decided," said Sprigg. "I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior."

"So we should outlaw gay behavior?" asked Matthews again.

Yes,” said Sprigg.
And then he laughed.

As Rob Tisinai writes,
You know, it’s the laughter that gets me. I live in L.A., where I can pretend this sort of thinking is limited to the extreme, bigoted fringes of society. But this is on MSNBC, and Sprigg is a spokesperson for a group that brings in over twelve million dollars a year. We see what their position is — and how can you compromise between full civil equality and being thrown in prison? What would that compromise even look like?

No matter what we do, no matter what we offer, it won’t be enough for these folk. If we agree to everything-but-the-word, they’ll go to work on the “everything.” They’ll chisel away at civil unions and domestic partnerships until they strip us of even the right to claim the dead body of your partner from the morgue. They’ll keep chiseling — chiseling until we’re in prison.
Meanwhile, Daily Kos polled self-identified republicans and finds they are overwhelmingly opposed to GLBT rights. A substantial number also oppose birth control and fully half think Sarah Palin is more qualified to be president than Barack Obama. Whom they consider a racist. And these people could be standing next to you in the supermarket.

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