Cardinal Francis George of Chicago makes a very serious argument in defense of traditional Catholic doctrine on marriage:
CARDINAL GEORGE: Well, I go with the pastor. I mean, he’s telling us that they won’t be able to have Church services on Sunday, if that’s the case. You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism. So, I think if that’s what’s happening, and I don’t know that it is, but I would respect the local pastor’s, you know, position on that. Then I think that’s a matter of concern for all of us.
This somewhat reminds me of the argument that Democrats are the party of racism because Robert Byrd was a KKK member in 1947. The Klan threatened Catholics with its intolerance and hate in 1923. Therefore, anyone who the Catholic Church opposes must also be a purveyor of hate, even though the Catholic Church is the institution attempting to repress the rights of others.
Cardinal George’s attempt to walk back his comments is also fantastic:
Obviously, it’s absurd to say the gay and lesbian community are the Ku Klux Klan, but if you organize a parade that looks like parades that we’ve had in our past because it stops us from worshipping God, well then that’s the comparison, but it’s not with people and people — it’s parade-parade.
The noted parade threat. It was indeed the parade itself and not the legislative action or acts of violence that was the real threat of the KKK. Evidently it doesn’t matter the reason, the act of organized walking in a street past a Catholic Church is the real threat!
It’s not surprising that it looks as if the 9th Circuit will reject the farcical argument that Judge Vaughn Walker (who ruled that the Proposition 8 violates the 14th Amendment) should recuse himself because he’s gay. But this line of argument concedes way too much:
But the 9th Circuit judges stressed there was no proof Walker had any intent to marry, with one, Judge Michael Daly Hawkins, noting that he did not marry in the window of time when same-sex marriage was legal in the state — before Proposition 8 was approved by the voters.
This may be true, but it’s beside the point. So what if Walker did intend to get married? Are homeowners disqualified from hearing 4th Amendment cases? Are only judges who pledge never to speak or write in public allowed to rule on 1st Amendment cases? Do judges have to pledge never to buy equities before they hear a securities litigation case? (And, of course, the assumption that only gays and lesbians are affected by same-sex marriage bans is to concede in advance that they’re irrational.) The argument that Walker has to recuse himself is profoundly foolish and profoundly offensive, and the fact that it’s being made in open court is in itself a good argument that classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to strict scrutiny.
The Catholic Church has taken up a new strategy to fight against abortion and gay rights–talking about “religious liberty” to reject equal rights for gays and the right of women to control their own bodies.
I would say that whenever an institution is forced from the support of direct oppression to taking on the mantra of being oppressed, it’s a sign of victory for progressive forces. It doesn’t mean the victory will be complete–white homeowners used this very language in the 1960s and 1970s to protect their neighborhoods and schools from integration. But even in this case, this move was a significant response to just how much the civil rights movement had accomplished.
While I am less confident about the long-term availability of legal abortion in this country, the Catholic bishops are clearly being routed on gay marriage. I’d expect to see more of this language, talking about how not encouraging kids to beat up gay kids impinges upon their free speech.
Chick-Fil-A: worth boycotting for reasons other than the quality of the food. It’s always nice when expedience and principle can coexist easily…
Logically consistent Maggie Gallagher: The fact that members of LGM are not routinely given speaking gigs by Republican organizations is a clear violation of their civil rights.
Shorter Maggie Gallagher: Gays and lesbians must be treated as second-class citizens because otherwise people might disagree with the views of homophobes, a violation of their civil rights.
Yes, Santorum is dumber than a bag of lube and fecal matter. There’s also this:
I — I would say, any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they’re making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to — to — and removing “don’t ask/don’t tell” I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military’s job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country.
Ah, yes, the oldest scam in the bigot’s playbook; it’s demanding “special rights” to ask for rights that people like Rick Santorum take for granted. Like Santorum, this defender fails to explain how denying someone who otherwise meets the criteria for military service the right to serve is about “special rights.” Imposing unique burdens in groups is just about rights, period. Speaking of John Marshall Harlan, he was on to this in 1883, in his solo dissent in the Civil Rights Cases:
My brethren say that, when a man has emerged from slavery, and by the aid of beneficent legislation has shaken off the inseparable concomitants of that state, there must be some stage in the progress of his elevation when he takes the rank of a mere citizen, and ceases to be the special favorite of the laws, and when his rights as a citizen or a man are to be protected in the ordinary modes by which other men’s rights are protected. It is, I submit, scarcely just to say that the colored race has been the special favorite of the laws. The statute of 1875, now adjudged to be unconstitutional, is for the benefit of citizens of every race and color. What the nation, through Congress, has sought to accomplish in reference to that race is what had already been done in every State of the Union for the white race — to secure and protect rights belonging to them as freemen and citizens, nothing more. It was not deemed enough “to help the feeble up, but to support him after.” The one underlying purpose of congressional legislation has been to enable the black race to take the rank of mere citizens. The difficulty has been to compel a recognition of the legal right of the black race to take the rank of citizens, and to secure the enjoyment of privileges belonging, under the law, to them as a component part of the people for whose welfare and happiness government is ordained.
Given the massive attack by conservatives on teaching U.S. history (particularly with the Texas textbooks), I am very pleased to hear of Jerry Brown signing a bill ordering the teaching of gay history in California schools. Like with Texas, California controls a huge chunk of the history textbook market and the inclusion of gay history in the textbooks means that students in many other states are likely to get it too.
I have some reflections on the belated passage of same-sex marriage legislation in New York. The two most important are that 1)the belief that achieving policy victories through legislation will insulate them from backlash is silly, and 2)while the arc of history might bend toward progress, even in the medium term substantial progress on same-sex marriage is far from certain, and to a frightening extent rests on the shoulders of Anthony Kennedy.
Shorter Verbatim William C. Duncan: “What remains to be seen now is whether the people of New York will look kindly on the legislators who ignored them, listening instead to the Hollywood stars and other glitterati who became lobbyists for this fashionable cause.”
The thing is, in not allowing a minority of bigots to short-circuit marriage equality legislation, the governor and Senate were acting in concert with the overwhelming majority of New Yorkers. Projection in defense of discrimination is most definitely a vice.
Looks like the vote will finally pass. Outstanding! At lease one member has unexpectedly switched to a “yes”; once the logjam has been broken you’d think some GOP members would prefer not to emulate Strom Thurmond.
Whew, it’s good that I was able to get married before the institution of heterosexual marriage ceased to exist in New York! Alas, the newest member of the blog was not so lucky. There’s still going to be an open bar tomorrow, right?
…It’s official. And now let us praise the framers of the New York constitution for not including an initiative process.
Fortunately, the idea that Judge Walker should recuse himself has been treated with the seriousness it deserves.
Ed “But he even lives near San Fransisco!” Whelan doesn’t like the ruling. I look forward to his post arguing that it was inappropriate for the majority in yesterday’s securities litigation ruling not to recuse themselves. I mean, how can it be appropriate for wealthy men to have heard the case? Do we know that any members of the majority won’t eventually retire and judge corporate boards that will want to form subsidiary corporations so that they can lie to their customers with legal immunity? I don’t see how they can be impartial; we need some poor, badly-connected people appointed to the Court so that we can have a truly impartial ruling.