Jun 8, 2014

Hatred and Ignorance Beaten Back in Wisconsin

I hate gays, is no argument against
loving couples marrying
"Certain fundamental rights are too important to be left to the ballot box," said David Boies on March 24, 2013 on Meet the Press, a few days before oral arguments of the case that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act last year in United States v. Windsor.

Following U.S. District Judge  Barbara Crabb's opinion on Friday, all that is left of Republicans' political sledgehammer attacking the LGBTQ community is an infantile rant of I hate you, I hate you, I hate you.

As political opinion begins increasingly to acknowledge the humanity of fellow humans, sentiment against marriage equity is melting away into the bigoted Republican Party's fetid brew of hatred, and diminishing fast.

There are no serious arguments against marriage equity for gays and lesbians. 'I believe what I believe' does not qualify as a serious argument (as most of us learned in elementary school composition). This is however, the argument repeated today by Republicans politicians over and over.

Judge Crabb writes in her opinion: "In reaching this decision, I do not mean to disparage the legislators and citizens who voted in good conscience for the marriage amendment. To decide this case in favor of plaintiffs, it is not necessary, as some have suggested, to 'cast all those who cling to traditional beliefs about the nature of marriage in the role of bigots or superstitious fools,' United States v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675, 2717-18 (2013) (Alito, J., dissenting), or 'adjudg[e] those who oppose [same-sex marriage] . . . enemies of the human race.' Id. at 2709 (Scalia, J., dissenting). Rather, it is necessary to conclude only that the state may not intrude without adequate justification on certain fundamental decisions made by individuals and that, when the state does impose restrictions on these important matters, it must do so in an even-handed manner."

No, but in the political realm outside the Court, bigotry and superstition was and is challenged and rightfully so.

Hate and superstition are much of what the bigots in the Republican Party have, and they are unscrupulous in using hate.

From March 24, 2013 on Meet the Press, attorney David Boies notes he and Ted Olsen had established that marriage is a fundamental right of the American people, and proved three things to prevail at the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • "We needed to prove first that marriage is a fundamental right. And I think we did that."
  • "Second, we needed to prove that depriving gay and lesbian citizens of the right to marry seriously harm(s) them and seriously harm(s) the children that they are raising. And we proved that too."
  • "Even if you simply applied a rational basis test. ["Under the rational basis test, the courts will uphold a law if it is rationally related to a legitimate government purpose," notes the Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute.] There us no rational basis to justify this (gay marriage) ban. And that's because of the third thing we proved, which was there no evidence, none, that allowing gays and lesbians to marry harms the institution of marriage, or harms anyone else." ...
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As David Boies said on the Bill Moyers Journal, (Feb. 26, 2010):
If you didn't tell the majority of the voters they were wrong sometimes under the Constitution, you wouldn't need a constitution. The whole point of the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment is to say, 'This is democracy. But it's also democracy in which we protect minority rights.' The whole point of a Constitution is to say there are certain things that a majority cannot do, whether it's 52 percent or 62 percent or 72 percent or 82 percent of the people. They can't say, for example, that blacks and whites can't go to school together -- even though 82 percent of the people may think that. They can't say that women aren't allowed to vote, or are not allowed to work in the workplace, or not allowed equal rights or equal wages -- even though a majority of people might vote that way in some places.
Boies' colleague, Ted Olson, amplifies the point:
David (Boies) mentioned that we have a Constitution and we have an independent judiciary for the very protection of minorities. Majorities don't need protection from the courts. The original Constitution didn't have the Bill of Rights attached to it. And the framers of our Constitution had a big debate and people said, 'Well, we're not going to ratify that Constitution unless you attach a Bill of Rights, which protects individual liberty, individual freedom, the right to speak, the right to assemble,' and those sorts of things.
Over our history, the voters have decided, because they get passionate about certain things, and they may not like certain minorities. Minorities are disfavored. Blacks have been denied the right to vote. California prohibited Chinese, a Chinese person from having any kind of business in California, or getting married. Those kind of votes are not acceptable if they violate fundamental constitutional rights. ... 
The Congress and the President of the United States 50 years ago made it illegal for someone who is a gay or lesbian to have a job working for the federal government. Many states made it a crime for a homosexual to be in a bar and have a drink. We all remember the '50s. When civil rights were taken away from people because they were suspected of being a member of an organization that -- those sorts of things happened. And we frequently go to the courts and, Bill, it often happens that the measures that are passed almost unanimously in Congress, because Congress gets carried away, are overturned by the Supreme Court. And you go back to Members of Congress and you say, 'What happened there?' And they'll say, 'Well, we knew it was unconstitutional. We expected the courts to take care of that. We wanted to get reelected. The courts are the ones that come back and help us.'
Yes, calling out bigots is necessary. As David Boies writes on July 20, 2009: "The argument in favor of [California's] Proposition 8 ultimately comes down to no more than the tautological assertion that a marriage is between a man and a woman. But a slogan is not a substitute for constitutional analysis. Law is about justice, not bumper stickers."
A similar version of this piece appeared in 2009 here.

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