Monday, April 19, 2010

What if a Supreme Court Justice were gay?

There is speculation that some of Obama's possible short list candidates for next Justice of the Supreme Court may be gay. Part of this is the usual speculation about the sexuality of unmarried women (which I find very offensive, myself).

And part of it is the expectation that only straight white Christian men can be objective. Somehow, it is assumed that a minority, a woman, or a gay person can't see the world apart from their membership in those groups.

So there is some fuss when the White House seems upset at a rumor that Elena Kagan may be a lesbian. (Hint: the proper response to a rumor is, "so what?")

And then the American Family Association of stupidity and bigotry comes out with this (quoted via Andrew Sullivan, I will not link to a hate site):
"With an active homosexual on the bench, Lady Justice will no longer even pretend to be blind. She will be peeking out from under her blindfold to determine the sexual preference of those standing before her, then will let the fold slip back into place before ruling in every case to legitimize sexual deviancy. Bottom line: the American ideal of absolute equality before the law will inevitably be shredded by a homosexual judge. Neither the Constitution nor the American people should be subjected to that kind of judicial malpractice. We can and should expect more from those who occupy seats on the highest bench in the land,"
Now, replace the word "gay" with "Christian" and "sexual preference" with "religion" and see how offensive that really is.


Erika Baker said...

It's so difficult to know how to remain on the right side of the law, isn't it. A gay or lesbian judge cannot be impartial - presumably, they're so morally and intellectually corrupt that they cannot judge any case properly, not just those involving sexuality.

But over on the other side of the pond, a former Archbishop of Canterbury believes that only a religious judge can be truly impartial - especially when it concerns the rights of Christians, and that secular judges would persecute them instead.

I’m envisaging an astonishingly complex legal system where Christians judge Christians, straights judge straights, gays judge only gays, blacks only blacks….. and God knows what intricate system we need when a white gay Muslim woman finds herself in court vs. a black straight atheist male.

Oh, the sheer unintelligence of all this makes me feel sick!

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Well, I simply agree with IT!

Erika Baker said...

but that's just it - Lord Carey has replaced "gay" with "Christian" and "sexual preferences" with "religion" and has turned the thing on his head by demanding just that constellation, because he believes that only a blind Lady Justice means that Christians are being persecuted and that only a Christian one can legislate in favour of Christians.
The British ideal of absolute equality before the law can only be guaranteed by a Christian judge.

So - offense and prejudice are precisely where you want to see them. And all it boils down to is "I use whatever words and concepts help me to get what I want".
It has absolutely nothing to do with principles of any kind.