Friday, April 05, 2013

Left Side of the Aisle #102 - Part 4

Good news #4: Same-sex marriage continues to gain

While we're on the topic of good news, there is more good news coming out on the issue of same-sex marriage.

I'm not going to spend any significant time talking about the oral arguments before the Supreme Court on PropHate and the Defense of Marriage Act; I'm sure you've heard all about that. I will note that most observers seem to think that the indications are that same-sex marriage proponents will prevail on both issues by a vote of 5-4, with swing vote Anthony Kennedy appearing to lean that way.

But making predictions of Supreme Court decisions based on oral arguments is a long way from an exact science and it's best to not get our hopes up but wait for the decisions, which are expected to come in June.

I did, however, want to mention one argument Justice Sam Alito made, which struck me as jaw-dropping. Between this and his dissent in the drug-sniffig dog case, I think he's getting a little loopy, Anyway, quoting him,
You want us to step in and render a decision based on an assessment of the effects of this institution which is newer than cell phones or the Internet. On a question like that, of such fundamental importance, why should it not be left for the people, either acting through initiatives and referendums or through their elected public officials?
Well, first, Sammy, because human rights are not a popularity contest and do not rise or fall based on majority support. Second, the institution at issue here is marriage, which is rather older than cell phones or the internet, and the question is if same-sex couples can be barred from that institution. It's not a matter of "marriage" here and "same-sex marriage" over there as if it was some separate, independent institution and your apparent notion that it should or can be treated as one displays, I say either fundamental ignorance or fundamental bigotry and perhaps both.

But moving away from Johnny Roberts and the Supremes for now, there is the news that Sen. Mark Kirk has become the second Republican senator to support recognizing same-sex marriage, becoming the 50th member of the US Senate to do so. It also appears that Sen. Lisa Murkowski will at least fairly soon become the third GOPper to embrace reality.

And here's some news: Bill O'Reilly, who previously had said at various times that same-sex marriage would lead to people marrying "a turtle," "a goat," "a duck," or "a dolphin," said last week that he doesn't "feel strongly about it one way or the other" and that "the compelling argument" is on the side of marriage-equality proponents and that all opponents had been able to do is "thump the Bible," which, he said, is not a basis for enact public policy.

Hey, if they've lost Bill O'Reilly....

On the other hand, someone they have not lost is Alan Keyes, the former diplomat, perennial candidate, and all-around flake who argued the other day that gay marriage “is the archetype of all crimes against humanity." Worse than racism, worse than slavery, worse than war crimes, worse than war, worse than genocide. Same-sex marriage is the archetype of all crimes against humanity.

In fact, if you do not oppose same-sex marriage, quoting, "you are abandoning your obligation as a human being.” It's unclear whether he meant that gays and lesbians are obligated as human beings to declare they cannot marry or if he meant they're not human beings. For him, either one is possible.

But finally, one more quote, this from Pastor Calvin Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church this past Sunday, referring to same-sex marriage:
Well, it’s something that we don’t believe in, in terms of what we have learned from the Bible. But in terms of men and women having their rights as citizens and human beings, we certainly affirm that. You should have every right as a citizen of this nation and every right as a human being to enjoy the freedom that God has given you. The choice is yours. And I should not stand in the way of you making that choice.
So for all of you wingnuts and Bible-thumpers out there: What is so hard to understand about that?


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