Sunday, December 21, 2008

Yes On 8 Is A "No" On Common Decency

Ken Starr plays a little pocket pool while preparing for his next partisan fight ....

“I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life.” — comedienne, Rita Rudner

Just a day after writing a blog in favor of giving a very conservative, anti-same sex marriage preacher a chance to not be discriminated against simply because of who he is, the very people he was supporting decided to … discriminate even further against GLBT couples in California because of who they are! Well, it's time to give some equal air to the other side.

Ya sure know how to undermine any civility, don’t ya Prop 8 proponents?

"Love is never wrong." — musician, Melissa Etheridge

News reports noted that the Yes on 8 campaign officially filed a brief arguing that because the new law holds that only marriages between a man and a woman are recognized or valid in California, which (per the report)( declares the state can no longer recognize the existing same-sex unions. What the brief reveals for the first time that opponents of same-sex marriage will fight in court to undo those unions that already exist.

"Proposition 8's brevity is matched by its clarity. There are no conditional clauses, exceptions, exemptions or exclusions," reads the brief co-written by Kenneth Starr, dean of Pepperdine University's law school and the former independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton.

He has a point: it’s a brief law with no clauses, exceptions and exemptions. That also includes no clauses that retroactively remove those legal marriages that had previously been performed. Typical to conservatives though, they have no problems trying to create law by expansion that isn’t already in the law. When Democrats do that, conservatives scream “judicial activism” and “frivolous lawsuits.” Well, get ready to affix that judicial activist mantle squarely around Ken Starr’s neck while he pursues his frivolous lawsuit. It’s time for democrats to stand up now and demand that Republicans only follow the letter of the law.

The ironic part about all of this is how the big neo-con attempt to define marriage as not a right, but a privilege (as I wrote about in Mike Huckabee’s visit to Jon Stewart’s Daily Show). Of course, privileges are different than rights – they don’t get legislated (so you remove that body out of the equation). Following on this logic, privileges are granted. In California, for most of this past year, that privilege was extended to all couples, hetero- and same-sex couples alike by the California State Supreme Court, and the governor himself said it was the right decision. That privilege was given, period.

Now a group who just passed the above noted, statewide-voted law which their own attorney noted had “no conditional clauses, exceptions, exemptions,” wants to use this to remove privileges from other couples already married! Privileges that were granted to them. Privileges that are not in defiance of the law at that time, and are not superceded by any other subsequent law. What’s wrong with this picture?

How often do we see privileges removed from citizens who have broken no law? Sure, if there’s a compelling public interest (such as severe drought, requiring need for removing the privilege of watering your lawn, for instance), that occurs. But simply removing privileges from other law-abiding citizens for no other reason than it “offends” another group of citizens implies that one group of citizens is granted more consideration (dare I say, rights?) than another.

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” — author, Emily Bronte

Further, if we use this precedent, then any group can collect signatures to remove privileges from other groups for the same reason – “it offends our group.” For the religiopolitical types, they’d better watch what they’re stepping into. Let’s say, someone is offended by seeing Christmas displays even on private property. So they collect enough signatures to remove Santa Clauses, and reindeers and Christmas trees from any display public or private – those are privileges, not rights.

Taking it further still, let’s say religious groups similarly collect enough signatures to remove all holiday displays from sight, even if religious. Sure there is the right to freedom of religion – worship. But displays aren’t worshipped. People worship inside churches. Displays aren’t allowed by right, but by privilege. How about removing the privilege of any public or private displays (which aren’t guaranteed by Constitution, but are privileges) simply because enough people of another group are offended.

In schoolyard logic, one shove typically draws back an equal and opposite shove. Elementary physics.

This whole exercise defies both common sense and common decency.

Ken Starr, of course, is the most partisan signal a Republican can send. It automatically conjures up the image of abuse of the court system to clog it up purely of hyper-partisan motivation.

Is this the road we wish to travel down? "Peace on earth, goodwill toward men … Ah, screw all that! I want mine -- just because!"

'Tis the season ....

“Your soul is an apalling dump heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable,
Mangled up in tangled up knots.” — You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch, from Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (TV version)


Rebekah said...

Nice! The Seuss quote says it all, R

Polar said...

The fact that Ken Starr, the greatest threat to the US Constitution since the SS-18 Satan missile, is involved in this fiasco, is all I need to know.

I see the CA Supremes throwing out the election, and can see a number of legal grounds for doing so. I can also see the right wing aholes who file referenda like Prop 8, going back and doing it again. If the forces supporting marriage don't do it smarter next time around, I have no sympathy for them.