27 March 2013

Gay marriage at the Supreme Court

Most observers now seem to believe the most likely outcome on Prop. 8 is a narrow ruling, either letting it stand (in which case the way forward would be another referendum to repeal it, which we would certainly win) or leaving in place Judge Walker's 2010 ruling that struck it down, thus reinstating gay marriage in California.  But since that ruling was based on the incompatibility of a discriminatory state amendment with the federal Constitution, a broader ruling that would sweep away marriage discrimination throughout the country is possible.  It has happened before that a state-based case led to the striking down of oppressive laws nation-wide -- Griswold v. Connecticut, Loving v. Virginia, Roe v. Wade, Lawrence v. Texas.  Not all the conservatives on the Supreme Court today are cut from the same cloth as Scalia -- remember Roberts on the ACA.

The right wing as a whole is surprisingly divided on the gay-marriage issue.  Some are actively supportive, while many more argue that opposition to gay marriage is now a lost cause that should be abandoned on pragmatic grounds.  The religious crazies are going even more bonkers than usual, even claiming that Satan is working through the Supreme Court (hmm, just when they'd found Satan in the executive branch).  Some of the haters (and if you doubt they deserve to be called that, read this) are prophesying the death of marriage itself if their cause loses, while others make the more imaginative (and Orwellian) argument that we must discriminate against those disgusting fags for their own good (note, though, how much push-back there is in the comments thread there).  If you've been wondering about the small but fanatical Paultard faction, they seem to be falling into line with the broader Christian Right (see the comments thread).

If the Court strikes down Prop. 8 and DOMA, the crazies will go completely berserk, intensifying the struggle for control of the Republican party.  If it upholds them, the crazies will likely feel vindicated and strengthen their dominant position -- but that will just deepen the party's isolation from a society inexorably moving in the other direction.

Back in the world of sanity, Politicus USA has some good analysis up.  If you really want to get into the details, Equality on Trial (formerly Prop. 8 Trial Tracker) has meticulous coverage.

There are millions of hysterics and haters in this country who insist that if the rest of us refuse to be subject to their bronze-age taboos, we're somehow infringing on their religious freedom.  But they are a shrinking minority in a society that now sees such madness for what it is.  Our country has overcome bigotry and primitive taboos before.  Know hope.


Anonymous Lord Zomglol said...

The last picture pretty much says it all.

28 March, 2013 03:01  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

It's horrifying to think that their marriage would indeed have been condemned in much of this country just a few decades ago. Let's hope that the rejection of gay marriage is soon seen as equally embarrassing.

28 March, 2013 04:16  
Anonymous Bacopa said...

One thing people might not know is that Texas voted out its sodomy laws in the late 90's. They were restored at the last minute when two legislators noticed this had happened and that they had voted for it. Molly Ivins was there and had a great story to tell, but I can't find the audio clip. It's in the Pacifica Archives somewhere. If I find the clip I will put it in a comment here. There would never have been Lawrence vs. Texas without Heflin and Chisum.

My prediction is that DOMA will fall, but that prop 8 will be upheld. DOMA fails on federalist grounds, but Prop 8 had support. Of course this will create all kinds of legislative chaos, but California will overturn prop 8 and many other states will approve gay marriage. A majority of states will be there in ten years. Time is on the side of marriage equality.

29 March, 2013 16:54  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Bacopa: You're most likely right. DOMA looks hardly defensible, but this court doesn't seem likely to dare a Prop. 8 ruling with broad national implications. I wouldn't be surprised if they let Judge Walker's ruling stand just for California, though.

Repealing the sodomy laws without noticing they were doing so sounds like the kind of thing certain breeds of Texans might well do.

30 March, 2013 10:57  
Anonymous Madeleine Begun Kane said...

Well said. My guess is DOMA will be struck down on the narrow states' rights basis, instead of equal treatment. And that the court will decline to rule on Prop 8 based on standing. So Prop 8 will be gone, based on the lower court's ruling, but will have no wider impact on other states.

02 April, 2013 15:24  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Mad Kane: Thanks. I more and more think the same (about the outcome), though we all know the Court can surprise us. But even if all that happens is that DOMA goes down and Prop. 8 stays down, I'll happily take that as a win at this stage.

02 April, 2013 19:42  

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