Proposition H8 And The Enduring Appeal Of Fear And Hate (February 13, 2012)

. . .

K          “In the early 1960s, a constitutional law textbook included a lengthy chapter collecting pivotal decisions challenging Jim Crow laws.  A library in this state, a grammar school in that state, a swimming pool in this state, a drinking fountain in that state.  The campaign was undertaken one institution, one jurisdiction, one decision at a time.  There were successes; there were failures; there were more successes than failures.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA) changed the ground rules.  These outdated cases are of interest to historians today; they are moot asides for lawyers.  The whole chapter was expunged and a new chapter unfolded to detail the legal dispute du jour.”

J          “The unfolding chapter is reading like the old one.  America is gasping its way through the same spasms regarding gay marriages and gay rights.  The long-run outcome is clear, but the path is rocky.  Gay marriages and gay rights will be the norm and the law in thirty years.”

K          “Gay rights are the civil rights issue of this generation.  Instead of passing laws to protect civil rights such as the CRA, however, Congress passes unconstitutional screeds such as the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (DoMA).  Perverse group, the gang that legislates congress.”

J          “In thirty years, the kids will dismiss the dispute as ‘weird’ or ‘bizarre’ or whatever the patois is at the time.  Until then, prejudice, hate and fear drives the fight.  The Ninth Circuit decision is another step in the long slog.  And now the outcome likely turns on Kennedy.  Someone observed that Kennedy observed that his gay clerks were . . . human.  He decided that they should be treated that way.”

K          “In Lawrence v. Texas.  Contrast the development of the law regarding gay rights with the development of the law involving abortion.  Last month marked thirty-nine years since the Supreme Court addressed abortion in Roe v. Wade.  Curious circumstances and decision.  The matter was decided not by the Warren Court but by the Burger Court.  Warren retired to go bass fishing or something in 1969.  The seven vote majority opinion was written by a Republican-appointed Justice (Blackmun) and was joined by three Nixon appointees (Burger, Powell, Blackmun), two Eisenhower (Stewart, Brennan), one FDR (Douglas), and one LBJ (Marshall) appointees.  Even with no Democratic-appointed justices at all, Roe would have become the law of the land solely on the votes of Republican-appointed justices.”

J          “Even with a clear precedent, challenges to abortion will still be caroming around the courts in thirty years.  Gay rights will be resolved.”

K          “We would all be better off if the government got out of the bedroom.”

. . .

[See the Ninth Circuit decision in Perry v. Brown at http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2012/02/07/1016696com.pdf.]

[See the “e-ssay” titled Less Government Regulation Series: Love and Marriage (May 19, 2008).]

[See the “e-ssay” titled Fire Your Attorney General (November 7, 2011) and review http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/02/mortgage-settlement-as-attorney-general-sellout-deal-is-not-done-and-final-version-guaranteed-to-be-worse-than-advertised.html.  The bankers murdered the body politic (and economic) with malice aforethought and all we could offer them is an overdue book fine.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“All that Proposition 8 accomplished was to take away from same-sex couples the right to be granted marriage licenses and thus legally to use the designation of ‘marriage,’ which symbolizes state legitimization and societal recognition of their committed relationships.  Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California, and to officially reclassify their relationships and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.  The Constitution simply does not allow for ‘laws of this sort.’”

Let freedom ring; let love rule

Good to have loved and lost; better to have loved and won

Happy Valentine’s Day

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