Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Prop8 "hostility"

As you may recall, the federal case against Prop8 is now headed to the Supreme Court.  This, after the district court judge found Prop8 broadly unconstitutional, and the 9th circuit found it narrowly unconstitutional (and denied further en banc consideration).

The case was originally called Perry v. Schwarzeneggar, and then after Jerry Brown became governor, Perry v. Brown.  It is now called Hollingsworth v Perry, presumably because the leader of the Prop8 proponents who have brought the appeal is named Hollingsworth.

The briefs from the plaintiffs and defendants have been filed.  I'm sure there will be some more amicus briefs from other interested parties too.  The question is, whether the Supreme Court will find a sufficiently substantive federal question to hear the case (the decision to hear the case is called "granting certiori" and requires that at least 4 justices vote in favor).  It is very possible that the Supreme Court will find that there isn't a big enough question for them, and will deny cert.  This would let the narrow 9th circuit decision stand, and would return marriage to CA, without affecting the question anywhere else.

Originally, when the American Foundation for Equal Rights brought this case with the "dream team" of Ted Olson and David Boies, their hope was to ride the case up to the Supreme Court and establish a federal right to marriage equality.  The narrow decision by the 9th circuit pulled the rug out from under any sweeping decision.  Ultimately, of course, AFER is representing the interests of two couples.  And so, Olson's brief argues that SCOTUS should deny cert and provide relief to the plaintiffs who wanted to get married in the first place.

The opposition has now filed its brief, arguing that SCOTUS really needs to deal with this--and accusing "the extremes" of both sides of "hostility".

You know, I never called for Mormons or Catholics to be denied the right to civil marriage.  I never accused them of destroying children and families.  Yet those kinds of statements weren't expressed by the extremes but were the mainstay of the pro-Prop8 campaign, despite their efforts at revisionist history.  The fear-mongering hate ads on TV and radio made me physically sick.  I had to endure them in the months leading up to, and the month following my wedding to my beloved.

 But despite their efforts to paint themselves as victims, there really were few acts of "hostility" in the Prop8 aftermath. Sure, there were some economic boycotts (which the anti-equality folks  do all the time;  think NOM and Starbucks, for example).  There was one case of a pro-Prop8 supporter being told by the theatre he worked for that the many gay people there could no longer work with him.  But be real.  My relationship with people who voted "yes" changed too.  If you choose to hurt people (people you know,which makes it personal), of course your relationship with them is going to change.  After the hostility of the campaign, this was predictable.  And we haven't healed in California yet.

Oh, and those claims of violence against proponents?  Talk is cheap.   But at the time, there were no police reports filed.  In fact, I participated in the biggest march protesting Prop8 (in San Diego) which was entirely peaceful.  The only arrest there, was of a Prop8 supporter.  "Hostility on both sides"?  Not so much.

At some level I think we should just go back to the ballot box.  Take away their offensive meme of "the people decided!" by letting the people decide again.  Of course, then they complain about do-overs.

(I've said before-- if we had let "the people" vote on the civil rights of African Americans in the south, there would still be segregated water fountains down there.)

I can't believe this is STILL going on.  I can't believe that the gay-haters continue to use their "Christian" faith as a twisted justification for their abuse.  I can't believe my friends J and C can't get married.

On the other hand,  I can't  believe I've had the amazing experience of being married for FOUR WHOLE YEARS to the love of my life. They tried, but they can't take that away from us (you may not recall that in the early days after Prop8, there were calls to annul the 18000 marriages that happened prior to passage). 

Yes, just who is being hostile?

Come on, get this end game over with.  Let's deny cert and move on.

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