Wednesday, August 04, 2010
Why Prop 8 Was Completely Anti-American
There were speeches, (lots of speeches), music, flags, banners and lots of joy. Even though the decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, won't go into effect today. (There is a two day time frame for the court to consider a motion by opponents of Marriage Equality to stay the the resumption of same sex marriages in California while they appeal this case to the U.S. Supreme Court.) Yet the sense of vindication and victory in the California LGBT community is clear for everyone to see.
All of those key benefits associated with marriage are regulated on Federal level by the ridiculously mis-named "Defense of Marriage Act". (DOMA) and at least for now, that law is unchanged. Should the Perry case make it to the U.S. Supreme Court,(which it is pretty safe to say it most likely will), that law could very well change. Should the nine SCOTUS Justices uphold the ruling made today, it would in effect nullify all laws banning Marriage Equality in the United States.
So why did the pro- Prop 8 forces lose? I will talk about the legal issues in a minute. but what was amazing about this court case was how the supporters of Prop 8 were completely unable to provide any real evidence backing up their positions. I could go on and on about how hollow and empty the Yes On 8 arguments were, but Rachel Maddow does it so much better than I could:
We''ll set the spectacle of the Prop 8 trial, and the inherent silliness of the attempt to use "Gay is Bad because God Says So" as a legal argument, aside for the moment. the biggest reason why the plaintiffs in this case won, and why Prop 8 is completely unconstitutional is very simple. So allow me to lay it out for you .
1) Same Sex Marriage doesn't threaten or impact ANYONE ELSE'S marriage or family in any way.
2) You cannot put the civil rights of a minority up to popular vote. Rights are not subject to the whims of the electorate that is why they are RIGHTS.
3) Just because you don't like a particular minority, doesn't mean you get to make them 2nd Class Citizens
Judge Walker, puts it even more clearly on page 116 of his ruling where he writes that;
"fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote, they depend on the outcome of no elections"
This is why Proposition 8 is fundamentally un-American, and un-constitutional.
Prop 8 took the whole idea of fundamental rights laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution and said that they were not inalienable. But rather subject to the mood of at least 51% of whoever shows up to vote in a given election. That is not democracy, that is electorally sanctioned discrimination, and it was an affront to everything our country stands for, and everything our nation's founding fathers stood for.
Proposition 8, denied basic, fundamental civil rights to an entire group of Californians, based solely on a desire by groups like the Mormon Church and Conservative Evangelicals, to put into civil law their belief that God hates Gay people. So therefore the law should treat them as less than everybody else.
If the U.S. Supreme Court fails to uphold today's ruling, they will have said that the United States of America is no better than the Taliban.