As we all may have heard by now, California's Proposition 8 was struck down by Judge Vaughn Walker, who concluded that "fundamental rights may not be submitted to [a] vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections." The defense saw it differently - Jim Campbell, a lawyer for the defense, said the following about the ruling: "In America, we should uphold and respect the right of people to make policy changes through the democratic process, especially changes that do nothing more than uphold the definition of marriage that has existed since the founding of this country and beyond."
It seems that the defense has no problems with stripping people of their fundamental rights, and even go as far as to try and make the argument that marriage was always defined as a man and a woman since day one - if that is the case, then I guess blacks should still be considered 3/5ths of a person and work in the cotton fields and woman shouldn't be able to vote, after all, that is what had existed at the founding of this country... and beyond.
In my opinion, the ruling was very well written and balanced, offering up a fair ruling, taking into consideration both sides of the case - it is interesting to note that the defense made their typical moral arguments and banked the on shoddy information linked to James Dobson, who is well known for being caught with a homosexual male escort. Of the two witnesses the defense did put up, the Judge found them to be highly unqualified giving their opinions "little weight." Unfortunately, it didn't take long for the right-wing fringe to launch it hateful attacks, claiming the judge was biased because he himself is gay.
John Smithson wrote a bigoted smear on his little known website insinuating that the federal ruling was going to lead to men marrying boys, stating that this ruling has more to do with free speech then allowing "queers" to "fondle each other 'officially.'" I cite Smithson's statements because he is a perfect example of the fringe ideology - he claims to be a man of God, asserting he is a fundamentalist Christian preacher, as well as a conservative activist, but by the looks of his post, he is nothing more then a Westboro Baptist Church wannabe who wants to further marginalize subsections of America's population to strengthen his favored political parties (apparently he believes this ruling will make it a crime to spew his bigoted beliefs). Smithson even goes on to write that Judge Walker being gay was a conflict of interest, which is a funny argument to make, because using that same logic, a heterosexual judge ruling on marriage would also be a conflict of interest.
I also find it interesting that there are all these attacks surfacing against Judge Walker, but people, especially the right-wing media, are too scared to reveal just who nominated Walker - Republican Presidents Ronald Regan and George H. W. Bush. Media Matters points out in detail just how silent the media has been on this matterl, which is important, because the right-wing media will surely try to brand this decision as a progressive plot, which is ridiculous on its own considering the case was assigned randomly to a judge nominated by the godfather of the new right and the father of the man who helped bury compassionate conservatism and centrist deal-making. The Daily News had this to say about Judge Walker:
Walker, 65, was born in Watseka, Ill. President Ronald Reagan initially nominated him, but he wasn't confirmed until 1989 by George H.W. Bush. The New York Times described him as an "independent-minded conservative" who has come out in favor of the legalization of drugs and once ruled in the mid-90s that the cops used reasonable force when they pepper sprayed anti-logging protesters.
Essentially, the religious right is upset, and because they are upset, the GOP will get their panties in a bunch worrying about how to stop the gays and get the fringe back on their side (did they ever leave?). On the plus side, this ruling may give a slight boost to Democrats, but that would require the Dems to exploit this ruling a bit - they have been somewhat ambivalent in regards to gay rights and have turned off some of their base in their what appeared to be a policy of appeasement with the GOP. The president should get out there and applaud the decision, because as we all know, anything the president likes, the GOP dislikes tenfold, and that should draw the crazies out of the shadows in time for the midterm elections.
Let the bigots rave. Walker's opinion is so masterfully crafted that I cannot see it being overturned.ReplyDelete
From what I had read already, he had placed a lot of thought in his ruling, and that it would be pretty hard to argue against.ReplyDelete
I had read a great article at Slate that detailed the case nicely.