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Anti-Equality Messiah, Maggie Gallagher, Wants Her Equal Protection and to Eat it Too!

June 17, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Marriage Equality

National Organization for Marriage - the Anti-Gay NOM NOM NOMAssuming yesterday’s closing arguments are any indication of which way Judge Walker will rule in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger Prop 8 case, it looks like an obvious victory for marriage equality advocates.  In a statement on the National Organization for [Heterosexual Only] Marriage’s website the group’s messiah, Maggie Gallagher, seemed to admit this defeat, stating:

Americans have a right to vote for marriage. Ted Olson doesn’t seem to understand the argument, and judging from today’s exchanges neither does Judge Walker. I expect Judge Walker will overrule Prop 8.

But what makes marriage different from other things on which Americans don’t really have the right to vote, like for president in the landmark case, Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98 (2000)?  In that case, the Supreme Court negated the recount of votes (cast by Americans) which effectively secured the previously certified win of George W. Bush in Florida and gave him the necessary electoral votes to be President (like it or not).  Why was that ruling “ok” but a ruling to grant civil rights to a suspect class of people that were taken away by voters not “ok?”  I’m sure Attorney Cooper would answer with something about the natural creation of children – as that’s about all he could come up with in the closing arguments for any question posed by Judge Walker.

The real parallel of the two cases is the rationale used by the Supreme Court in determining George W. Bush was the winner.  In its decision, the Court declared, in part, that the method for recounting ballots used in Florida was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states, “no state shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”  That clause was included within the Constitution of the United States in an attempt to prevent violations of the well known standard, “all men are created equal.”  The Supreme Court decided that there was no “equal” standard for counting votes in Florida so votes in one county might be counted one way, while votes in another county might be counted another.  This logistical problem was enough to invalidate the right to vote based upon the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution (as least in the Court’s opinion at that time).

In the Prop 8 case, we clearly have a much more blatant violation of the Equal Protection Clause than we saw in Bush v. Gore.  There is no hypothetical “it might happen” in the Prop 8 debacle, there is an “it did happen and will continue to happen.”

Stupid Things People Say About Gays, The Prop 8 Trial Series, Part 8

June 16, 2010 By: jaysays Category: Featured, Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Today, closing statements began in the Prop 8 trial.  Prior to the closing arguments, Judge Walker submitted numerous thought provoking questions to both sides.  Both sides answered all questions, although many of the questions were directed only to one side of the issue.  The Defendant-Intervenors (the ones who oppose marriage equality), responded, in my opinion, very poorly to all questions, but one stood out.  Judge Walker’s second question asked:

Aside from the testimony of Mr. Blakenhorn, what evidence in the record supports a finding that same-sex marriage has or could have negative social consequences?  What does the evidence show the magnitude of these consequences to be?

The equality opponents essentially provided three summary answers on the negative social consequences of same-sex marriage:

  1. same-sex marriage will change the public meaning of marriage;
  2. a change in the social meaning of marriage will unquestionably have real world consequences;
  3. whatever those consequences are, the will be momentous.

They then quote Professor Cott’s explanation of what will happen if same-sex marriage is adopted: “One could point to earlier watersheds, but perhaps none quite so explicit as this particular turning point.”  So, what are those watersheds Professor Cott refers to?  Here are the examples given:

‘there can be no doubt that the recognition of gay marriages will affect as great a transformation in the nature of marriage as that from polygamous to monogamous or from arranged to unarranged marriage.’ (Quoting Joseph Raz)

‘Same-sex marriage is a breathtakingly subversive idea.’ (Quoting E.J. Graff)

‘enlarging the concept [of marriage] to embrace same-sex couples would necessarily transform it into something new.’ (Quoting William Eskridge)

‘the shared societal meaning of marriage… has always been the union of a man and a woman.  To alter that meaning would render a profound change in the public consciousness of a social institution of ancient origin.’ (Quoting from Lewis v. Harris, 908 A.2d 196 (N.J. 2006)

It sounds like they have no answer, right?  They cannot give one specific example of a real consequence to allowing same-sex marriage and resort to the tactics of declaring marriage about children and procreation, not love and commitment.  In fact, they even admit that they can’t answer the question, stating, “Professor Cott also admits that it is not possible to predict with precision the consequences that will flow from same-sex marriage.”  They then go on to grasp at more straws and declared that allowing same-sex marriage will “change its focus from the needs of children to the desires of the adult partners…”

Anyone else hear the gong?

As if that isn’t painful enough, they begin relying on marriage statistics that have no bearing, or are so insignificant that they can’t possible be a proper litmus test, including an annual 0.7% decrease in marriage from 2000 – 2008 in the Netherlands after an annual 0.2% increase in marriages in the years from 1994 – 2000.  Note that there is no consideration given for economic factors, such as a severe global recession – it’s simply the fault of gay marriage.

But perhaps most significantly, what is likely a “typographical error” in their submission, the anti-equality folks state, “Refining marriage to include same-sex unions…”

Yep… making marriage equal would certainly “refine” marriage.  I’m very happy we found a point of agreement.

NOTE: For more of the column, Stupid Things People Say About Gays, click here.

Stay up to date on all things Prop 8 at the Prop 8 Trial Tracker Website, with live blogging from Courage Campaign’s Rick Jacobs.