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The legs they stand on are increasingly wobbly

by Jeremy Hooper

 Good As You Images Picture-10-76-1And now, time for some late afternoon misrepresentations, this time courtesy of the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins (or his ghostwriter):

The clock is ticking on California's brief honeymoon with same-sex "marriage," and homosexual activists are doing everything in their power to make the court's May 15 verdict permanent. In a last-ditch effort to rob the people of their input in November, advocates of homosexual "marriage" are asking the high court to strike down the marriage protection amendment before it reaches the ballot. Using a tactic that same-sex couples test-drove in Oregon, the groups argue that the initiative "would change the state's Constitution so profoundly that it would amount to a revision." Unlike a simple amendment, a revision--as defined by California law--would require both voters' approval and that of the legislature. When liberals used this same argument to overturn the marriage protection amendment in Oregon last month, it failed. The court of appeals upheld the amendment, sending a powerful message on the effectiveness of a constitutional amendment defining marriage.

Primary problem with Tony's California-Oregon-linking logic? Well, Oregon never had a Supreme Court ruling demanding fairness for all (with marriage found to be a fundamental right), and Oregon never had legal same-sex nuptials . This is a distinction that not only matters a little bit, but one that creates a scenario drastically unlike one we've seen on the national map. What's happening in California cannot be directly compared to what has happened elsewhere, because nothing exactly like this has happened yet. What we have in California is a law that currently allows for the marriage of gays, which queer-hostile opponents want to revise -- REVISE! -- so that this one protected class is taken out of the game. It's really uncharted legal territory, no matter how much Tony wants to oversimplify the current case's unique standing.

Will those Californians whose hearts and minds in the right place stop the amendment from ever making the ballots? That remains to be seen, and will involve an extremely complex legal analysis. However, if Oregon is a precedent that the opposition is sincerely banking on, then we hope none of our vision-impaired friends ever find themselves in a supermarket alongside Tony Perkins, in need of help differentiating between the apples and the oranges.

Tony then goes on to say:

This week, Equality California is fine-tuning the strategy, suggesting that "if enacted, [the ballot initiative] would eviscerate the principle of equal citizenship for gay and lesbian people and strip the courts of their authority to enforce basic constitutional guarantees." (Translation: We recognize that the people of California oppose homosexual "marriage," and we'll use every possible loophole to circumvent the democratic process). Unfortunately for same-sex proponents, judicial activism may be common in California's courts, but the nullification of ballot initiatives is not. As the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out, justices seldom intervene once an amendment has qualified for the ballot. Obviously Equality California is more afraid of the people's verdict than the court's.

Logic that defines the "pro-family" movement, as it hides behind majority rule. Only problem for that reasoning? THE MAJORITY HAS FREQUENTLY BEEN WRONG! History is littered with instances in which injustice held majority support, even once it was overturned. There might be safety in numbers when it comes to walking alone at night (especially if you are gay in many parts of America). However, obtaining a lion's share of support doesn't increases its veracity of a flawed concept.

Are we worried that Californians will do the wrong thing and overturn marriage? Abso-frickin'-lutely. But does that speak to the righteousness of the opposition's endeavor? Not even a little bit! The "Oh, but lots of others are doing it too" is the childish reasoning that has led many a parent to pull out the ol' "If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you?" nugget. Is that really the sort of justification these folks want to use to support their attempts to tyrannically futz with the equality of an entire class of people?! Because if it is, the authority figure known as American history is more than ready to ask how so many otherwise decent people could've been convinced to blow up the bridge that was being built between homosexuals and heteros, tossing one of those tax-paying, supposedly equally-protected sets into the cold, icy waters of inequality.

Bench Pressing: Equality CA Urges Court to Strike Initiative [FRC]

**For an excellent analysis of the attempt to stop the ballot initiative, as well as a link to a pdf of the court filing, check out this fantastic Daily Kos diary:

BREAKING: CA Marriage Equality - EQCA asks CA SC to remove initiative from ballot [Kos]

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Your thoughts

Ok, I'll put my kudos here too. DKos article good... and copied ... and kept.... and hopefully correct.

Posted by: LOrion | Jun 23, 2008 7:17:08 PM

Perkins doesn't offer any legal argument that might sway the court into denying the hearing or for throwing out the case. As far as I have heard, Lavy and company haven't offered any either. It will be interesting to see what they come up with, and in my mind it is going to have to be pretty compelling.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Jun 23, 2008 8:27:51 PM

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