No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. (Fourteenth Amendment to the US Constitution)
From the Archives (21 July 2006) Last month Georgia courts ruled that the peach state can continue to discriminate against a small portion of our citizenry by extending over one thousand special rights to the majority while denying these same rights to minority homosexuals who wish to declare their love publicly and enjoy the same responsibilities and benefits of wedded um bliss that hetero citizens purport to enjoy.
New York courts basically ruled the same, only their reasoning goes that het marriages are so fragile that the state must use special rights to protect the hets from the spooky homos who so threaten their conjugal bliss.
This is akin to the tactic bishops use to downplay the fact that the priests are raping children. You know, just shift the blame to the homosexuals (even though pedophilia is not the same thing).
Which leads me to ask, if breeders’ marriages are so freaking fragile, then why doesn’t the state require them to attend remedial marriage classes instead of legalizing discrimination? Aren’t their children worth this expenditure of public funds or are children only valuable to the state before they’re born?
And lookie! Tennessee and Nebraska courts have legalized discriminatory and punitive bans on gay marriage now too, and even the snow-loving Easterners are declining to block a vote to ban queer marriage in the only state where gay marriage is currently legal.
So let’s examine the facts.
A full 70 percent of Nebraskans saw fit to deny their homosexual neighbors the equal rights guaranteed them by the laws of this land. AND they voted to deny state employees domestic-partner benefits and visitation rights too.
Is this equal protection?
Federal District Court Judge Joseph Bataillon states the obvious when he says that Nebraska’s amendment goes
far beyond merely defining marriage as between a man and a woman…. It imposes significant burdens on both the expressive and intimate associational rights [of gay men and lesbians] and creates a significant barrier to the plaintiffs’ right to petition or to participate in the political process.
He also states the obvious when he suggests that the amendment “was motivated, to some extent, by either irrational fear of or animus toward gays and lesbians.”
Seems this Court of Appeals is comprised not of public officials who uphold the law but instead by bigots willing to rule unanimously that “laws limiting the state-recognized institution of marriage to heterosexual couples are rationally related to legitimate state interests and therefore do not violate the Constitution of the United States.”
Uh would that be the state’s interest in upholding bigotry and propping up failed marriages to maintain the illusion of the happy suburban family that most American families don’t match in the first place?
Define these interests, you gentle um men in judicial dresses.
The New York Times says that Nebraska’s drastic ban is most likely headed to the Supreme Court. Does this inspire anyone to believe that nondiscrimination will be upheld in the land of the free and the home of the cappuccinoed?
Meanwhile, I have a question: Do the good folks at Alternet really believe that they come off as anything other than a bunch of privileged self-congratulatory East Coast smartasses when they post two headlines in one week as profound as "Is Israel Dumb?" and "Is Bush an Imbecile?"
Howzabout "Does Name-Calling Create Democracy?" or "Name-Calling: The Lazy Journalist’s Friend,” guys?
You might consider the impression you’re creating in between snickering at your frat-boy cleverness.
Meanwhile I packed Danishgrrrl and her 3 kids into a Seattle-bound plane bright and early this morning and won’t see them for 2 long weeks. The kids will visit with various relatives while Danishgrrl and her sister on Mercer Island move their father into an assistant living facility.
It sucks to get old and feeble.