Thursday, August 5, 2010

A teachable moment

Prop 8 was overturned, as most of you know by now. It was a sane and fair decision based on logical conclusions reached by a judge who put into words, via his opinion in the case, what many of us wanted to or would have said about this issue of same sex marriage. And it provides me and others with a teachable moment about the US Constitution and how laws are made in this country. Although it's too bad that the people who need to be taught the lesson I'm about to teach don't read this blog.

Our system of government is broken down into three branches, the legislative (they make the laws), the executive (they enforce the law), and the judicial (they interpret the law). Our federal and our state governments are all based on that model. Some states allow the people to also make laws via referendums that are placed on the ballots and then voted on, California is the most notable state that allows it's citizens, in addition to it's state legislature, to make laws.

And here in the case of California and the saga of Prop. 8 lies the crux of the lesson of how our government works. Judges found that a ban on same sex marriage in California was a violation of the law based on the fact that banning homosexuals from marrying one another was discriminatory, which is true, and that the ban was also a violation of due process, which is true as well. So a judge, whose job is to interpret the law, came to the conclusion that the ban on same sex marriage was illegal and that allowed gays to marry in California.

In response to that a law was passed that took away this right and most of the folks who backed taking away that right based their vote on religious and moral grounds. They used their religious and moral beliefs to discriminate against homosexuals once more. The Mormon and the Roman Catholic churches poured millions into the Prop. 8 vote and by a slim majority it passed.

Once it passed some gays decided to challenge Prop. 8 in court, which again is the place where the laws that are made by legislatures and citizen backed referendums are interpreted. After a trial, in which the state of California refused to participate in, a judge issued his verdict that Prop. 8 was indeed discriminatory and unconstitutional. The judge's decision may have overturned the will of a majority of voters in California but that's life, it's how our system operates. The voters of California passed the law and a judge interpreted it. Some may not like the way he saw things and they have every right to complain and howl and scream and cry, but what the judge did was not unconstitutional, in fact, what the judge did was the very thing our system of government calls upon him to do, to look at and evaluate the laws that are passed to make sure they are legal and do not discriminate.

So quit bitching you racists, homophobes, and intolerant Christians. Stop whining you teabaggers, right wingers, and you Latter Day Saints. The judge did precisely what he was supposed to do, he interpreted the law and despite what your hateful religions and your situational morals tell you, he made the right decision. By not allowing gay people to marry if they so choose is discrimination and it's against the law. No one is forcing you hateful people to approve or to endorse gay marriage. If you want to oppose it, go right ahead, but one thing you can't do is use the law to stop it because by doing so you are depriving your fellow citizens of the same rights you enjoy.

I saw that toady woman who is the head of National Organization for Marriage (NOM) on CNN last night. She was crying that you can't compare the struggle for equality by black folks in the last century to the one by gay people in this century, but she's dead wrong. It's the same. Anytime the majority of people are allowed to decide the fate and civil rights of a minority they disagree with, it's wrong. She kept saying that her movement wasn't about hate, or discrimination, or anti gay, and as soon as she said that, you can see it totally was about hate, discrimination, and being anti gay. The fact is she and her organization are like the majority of Christians, they hate and fear homosexuals and they want to keep them oppressed and marginalized. They don't ever want to think that homosexuals are their equal and if homosexuals are ever allowed to marry and have the same rights as she enjoys and the world then sees that huge cracks won't open in the earth and that their made up god won't smite all those who are gay and who want to marry, then it shows people that her religion yet again is a fraud that is used to keep people miserable and afraid.

The decision to overturn Prop. 8 yesterday is a landmark for civil rights and it will stand in history alongside of Brown v. Board of Education, Miranda v. Arizona, Loving v. Virginia and other decisions that have helped make this country a better, more equal place for all.


Lisa said...

Yes. I can't even think of a smart remark for this. Just yes.

DrGoat said...

Absolutely correct. They will appeal, but let's hope rational thinking and correct interpretation of the law will prevail. I know that's asking for a lot.

Darius Whiteplume said...

The man who would take away another's freedoms is one who never imagines the same could happen to him.

I did a very similar post. The "Activist Judge" was a Bush I appointee, so let them blame the rEpublicans!

Sleestak said...


gmb said...

Great post, Dr. Monkey. Thanks.

Megan said...


Lsamsa said... have said what I would like to...but so very much better!
All people, no matter gender or race, should be able to make that marry.
Love is love...that's all that matters.

Margaret Benbow said...

I wish I knew a foreign language so I could say "Yes!" to your post more than once. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Anonymous said...

Let's hope this breathes just enough life back into the Constitution to let it live another twenty years.