The Federal Prop. 8 Trial / Gay Marriage Catch-All

Al wrote:

Activist judges strike again!

2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck it down saying that DOMA violates the 14th amendment. I guess this means I'm going to want to start getting it on with my toaster any day now.

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Dammit, Tanglebones beat me to it.

Spoiler:

Also, Kaylee.

Huh. So they were right all along?

So, what's interesting about this ruling is that it actually relates back to the prop 8 trail. Judge Jacobs, who wrote the opinion for the majority, had very similar findings to Walker in that he found that strict scrutiny must be used not only in evaluating DOMA but in any law that attempts to restrict the rights of homosexuals. This would call adoption laws that have been passed in several states into question if the Supremes uphold the ruling.

...we conclude that review of Section 3 of DOMA requires heightened scrutiny.The Supreme Court uses certain factors to decide whether a new classification qualifies as a quasi-suspect class. They include: A) whether the class has been historically “subjected to discrimination,”; B) whether the class has a defining characteristic that “frequently bears relation to ability to perform or contribute to society,” C) whether the class exhibits “obvious, immutable, or distinguishing characteristics that define them as a discrete group;” and D) whether the class is “a minority or politically powerless.” Immutability and lack of political power are not strictly necessary factors to identify a suspect class. Nevertheless, immutability and political power are indicative, and we consider them here. In this case, all four factors justify heightened scrutiny: A) homosexuals as a group have historically endured persecution and discrimination; B) homosexuality has no relation to aptitude or ability to contribute to society; C) homosexuals are a discernible group with non-obvious distinguishing characteristics, especially in the subset of those who enter same-sex marriages; and D) the class remains a politically weakened minority.

Another thing worth noting is that Jacobs is a Bush Sr. appointee and considered a judicial conservative, which means that this opinion could carry more weight at the USSC level. Most of the commentary I've read indicates that this is probably a big blow to DOMA.

So have we discussed the Gay Super Ducks?

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Who is that mustachioed gentleman with TJ Miller?

That was a surprise twist! Make sure and watch until the end!

In a very surprising turn, the chief witness for the pro-Prop. 8 folks during the trial, Mr. David Blankenhorn, has cut a video urging the citizens of Minnesota to vote against a gay marriage ban this November.

Here is the ad:

Tonight, Dr. Bill Tam is the loneliest man in the world.

Hot damn.

Edwin wrote:

Woot! One of the few times, when discussing gay rights, that I am proud of Anyone from Springfield.

Every time the people over at the National Organization for Marriage or other anti-marriage equality groups put out an ad against gay marriage, I should simply bet my entire paycheck that it will be misleading or just outright lying.

Let's start with this ad in Maine:

What the ad doesn't tell you is:

1. The O'Reilly's chose to settle with the lesbian couple instead of facing them in court.
2. The O'Reilly's admitted in that settlement that they had, in fact, violated Vermont's law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodation.
3. The O'Reilly's would have been guilty of violating that same Vermont law if they had prevented a non-married lesbian couple from using the facilities for any celebration.
4. The O'Reilly's chose not to hold any weddings at their Inn rather than have to comply with Vermont's non-discrimination law.

Since the O'Reilly's stated in the ad that they have "strong religious beliefs" regarding same-sex marriage, I am dying to know which "strong religious beliefs" led them to cut a completely misleading ad.

Here's another ad from Maine:

Yes, folks, if it can happen in Canada, it can happen in Maine because ... something.

The sad part is that Damian Goddard is just another useful stooge in NOM's misleading ads. What Goddard didn't mention in his ad was that he was a freelance writer with no permanent or full-time job or contract and was subject to termination at any time by Sportsnet. Goddard had also tweeted several other anti-gay comments and Sportsnet decided it was not in their best interest to keep him on as a freelancer.

NOM decided to do a 5+ minute ad of their own showcasing the tale of Don Mendell:

Mendell goes on and on about how terrible he was treated because he stood for traditional marriage. Mendell, however, didn't go into the details that paint a very different picture.

Mendell didn't just take a stand against gay marriage. He participated in an ad back in 2009 where he flat out lied and said that if gay marriage was allowed, children would be forced to have to learn about same-sex marriage. After cutting that ad, several of Mendell's colleagues filed a complaint with the State of Maine Board of Social Work Licensure because they believed that Mendell's public statement violated not Maine law, but the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. They believed that his public stand was problematic as he was a school counselor who might interact with LGBT students. The State of Maine dismissed the complaint on First Amendment grounds. There was no punitive action taken against Mendell, and he was never sued by the State of Maine or anyone else regarding the matter. He was never defamed by the state licensure board as he claims. A complaint was filed, the board reviewed the complaint, did an investigation, and determined the complaint was not valid.

How that is defamation is beyond anyone's understanding.

Meanwhile, over in Washington State:

This one is probably the worst of the bunch because it contains a blatant lie. In the middle of the ad, there is a banner claiming that same-sex couples already have the same rights as married couples via domestic partnerships.

Same-sex couples in DPs in Washington State do not have all the same rights as married couples. Here are the two biggest inequalities:

1. A DP in Washington State does not trump the desires of the immediate family. Marriage does. In every state in the union, marriage is supreme in determining who gets the final say. If you are in a DP in Washington State, the family of the person, not the domestic partner, gets the final say.
2. A DP in Washington State is not recognized by any other state in the union. At least a same-sex marriage in Washington State would be recognized in the other states that have gay marriage.

I am sure we will see more of these misleading and dishonest ads between now and election day.

I'm pretty sure this is the song referenced in Edwin's video.

From Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:

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That's brilliant

I love SMBC.

Some updates here before the election tomorrow.

1. The SCOTUS decided to conference the Prop. 8 trial cert request on Nov. 20. The speculation is that they did not want to decide one way or the other before the election. My guess is that the decision to take up Prop. 8 also will be determined by how things go tomorrow.

2. Washington State and Maine look very poised to grant gay marriage. If Maine does pass it, then the only state in New England to not allow gay marriage is Rhode Island. However, their legislature is taking up the issue in January.

3. Polls look good for the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Minnesota failing. In an interesting twist to this, the measure must pass with 50% of the vote or it will fail. Polls are showing 48-47 in favor of passage.

I called the top individual donors to reject gay marriage to let them explain their opposition. [The Stranger]

Edwin wrote:

I called the top individual donors to reject gay marriage to let them explain their opposition. [The Stranger]

The summary of that is something I agree with and have thought for some time - the majority of people who reject the notion of gay marriage are not hateful. They just have an association in their head of "gay marriage = bad" but they can't explain the jump from one end to the other. The problem comes from the fact that they believe that this is a belief they're entitled to and should be able to express without fear of retribution. You know, on par with "I think rocky road is the best ice cream". They really and truly don't understand their own belief beyond a value judgment they made without really examining it, and they really don't fathom how this impacts the lives of others (or their own, honestly).

This is what we get from a "agree to disagree" society, where people think that they're entitled to their opinion without it being challenged, or that's rude. Let me just have my opinion, they reason, and let's avoid actually discussing it so I don't have to defend how me pushing my beliefs impacts you.

I would call that hateful through ignorance.

That was beautiful Bloo Driver.

Edwin wrote:

I would call that hateful through ignorance.

Yup. I think giving them that benefit of the doubt helped get us in this "agree to disagree" bullsh*t in the first place. If you want to deny rights to certain groups of people, you're a bigot.

Edwin wrote:

I would call that hateful through ignorance.

Agreed. Maybe this is bad, but I'm really not in the mood to let the hateful off the hook anymore or coddle their hate with delicate words. Ignorant hate, malicious hate, whatever, I doubt there's much difference to the oppressed. Yeah, flies with honey, but I also have my doubts that honey will work on those flies.