May 16, 2008

Onward, Gay Crusaders

It didn't take long for the usual crowd of homophobes and religious fanatics to get to preening and drama queening over California's same-sex marriage decision yesterday.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a.k.a. The Church of Latter Day Pharisees, is Hell bent on writing a State constitutional amendment that would forbid Stuart Gaffney from marrying his partner of 21 years.

Twenty-one years is 183,456 hours, or 3,336 times as long as Britney Spears's first 55-hour marriage lasted, yet the blessed nuptials of the ethically disheveled Pop Tart are the ones the Latter Day Pharisees would prefer the government to exclusively consecrate.

Even Mathew Staver, the self-appointed Florida attorney for Jesus with a record of shameless dishonesty that would stun an ox, wants everybody to know he's outraged, calling the decision "magical." Magic and necromancy, at least, Staver would know.

California's Catholic bishops too, are incensed (pun intended). Why in the world would a conspiracy of celibate old men care about marriage? I've decided not to eat Kraft American Cheese Food Slices, so it doesn't bother me whether they're individually wrapped or not.

Nobody has ever given even a halfway decent reason why the government should forbid gay people from marrying each other. The best that appears in the various State court decisions on the question is that the government has an interest in preserving some allegedly "sacred tradition."

And political conservatives actually support this ephemeral notion as a legitimate function of government? Conservatives sure aren't like they used to be. Somebody needs to be conserving the real conservatives before they all disappear.

It's a sacred tradition, the Alliance Defense Fund claims, that dates back to "Eden." (And Eden dates back to Gilgamesh, except the ADF's religious mythology is highly selective.)

The California Supreme Court took an enlightened step forward yesterday, in treating human sexual preference as a classification akin to "race" and ethnicity for the purposes of scrutinizing government actions aimed at separating the foregoing into socially acceptable and non-acceptable castes.

That heightened scrutiny is appropriate because sexuality, like skin color and ethnicity, exists on a continuum of subtleties. Any line drawn on the continuum is bound to be arbitrary, and laws can't be arbitrary and not violate a State's Equal Protection Clause.
The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. — Junius
Religion is afforded the same heightened degree of scrutiny, even though today's Orange County Evangelical could be tomorrow's Santa Monica Scientologist and whereas if you're hounding after women at Bar Louie tonight, you're unlikely to be doing your best full drag Liza Minnelli impression at La Cage on Saturday.

Conservatives object to all this, mistakenly believing that the will of the government and/or the electorate can override an equal protection clause, and judges must unfailingly defer to the legislature and the electorate. That's ridiculous, obviously, as a fundamental matter of U.S. constitutional law.

And that's why Milwaukee medium-wave think tanker Charlie Sykes wants you to replace all judges committed to equal protection under the law with reliable GOP cronies and underachieving rubber stamps.

As if conservatives never go running to the courts to try and invalidate legislation they don't like. Mitch McConnell filed for an injunction against McCain-Feingold before the ink was even dry.

Today's convenient Republican devotion to direct democracy is nothing but a smokescreen for a desire to enforce subjective religious principles through state coercion and a prurient fascination with the mechanics of — male, especially — homosexual relations.

Another great big gay crusader, Ted Haggard, proved that already.

11 comments:

John Foust said...

It slays me that the church quote in that Haggard link uses the word "stance". Say one thing, and mean your mother.

illusory tenant said...

Say one thing, and mean your mother.

I may need to steal that at some point.

gnarlytrombone said...

Kmeic, searching for a "simple, secular answer" to why gay marriage is problematic, says it will worsen the Social Security crisis.

God bless him. That's fantastic.

John said...

Ironically the California Supreme Court is a Republican majority court, but that would not play into their arguements.

Heraldblog said...

I think not invading countries and killing innocent people for no good reason is a sacred tradition. Does that count?

gnarlytrombone said...

That heightened scrutiny is appropriate because sexuality, like skin color and ethnicity, exists on a continuum of subtleties. Any line drawn on the continuum is bound to be arbitrary, and laws can't be arbitrary and not violate a State's Equal Protection Clause.

I really like this point and have been mulling it over all day, but I'm not sure I'm fully grasping it in terms of the court's decision (I failed con law miserably).

Is the court reasoning that "procreative nature" of marriage essentially a bullshit excuse to discriminate against gays (i.e., the state in granting a marriage licensed never asked Rush Limbaugh if he was going to reproduce)?

illusory tenant said...

Equal protection: An overview.

I just mean that if government actions that implicate race and ethnicity on equal protection grounds are subjected to the highest degree of judicial scrutiny (which they are), then so should sexuality, since sexual preference is immutable in a similar sense as are race and ethnicity.

Religion, on the other hand, is so subjective and highly variable it's practically a choice, yet it's protected by the same level of judicial scrutiny as race and ethnicity.

As for the procreative nature of marriage, that is a silly argument, because for one thing, marriage isn't necessary to procreation.

Nor is procreation a necessary component of marriage; there are enough childless married couples and enough unmarried gay couples raising children to demonstrate how poor the argument is.

And being gay doesn't preclude anyone -- male or female -- from procreating either.

gnarlytrombone said...

Religion, on the other hand, is so subjective and highly variable it's practically a choice, yet it's protected by the same level of judicial scrutiny as race and ethnicity.

Yeah, that's what I'm trying to drive at- that the distinction between homosexual sex and Limbaughian non-procreative sex (eww) the state has been relying on - as Kmeic admirably admits- is based on nothing more than a religious artifact.

What I'm confused about is whether that's a direct, logical extension of the court's ruling, or just a common sense inference.

illusory tenant said...

I haven't had a chance to read the entire ruling yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if the court made a similar comparison among "suspect classes."

Heraldblog said...

Drinking Liberally this Wednesday (5/21) at Sugar Maple!

John Foust said...

Party on, Wayne. Boots is coming, and I think he's bringing the Kittens.