Monthly Archives: November 2008

Pity

I feel pity…
oh such pity,
I feel pity,
and witty,
and gay!

Woah.. I was starting to write and I broke into song (to the tune of "I feel pretty" if you hadn't guessed). That's what happens when you blog on too much cold medicine. (yes, my pretties, I'm a little bit sick. And sadly and stupidly at work instead of home in bed).

Anyways, I feel pity for Bush when I see stuff like this:

But… then I think about how he is responsible for over 4500 dead US troops, nearly ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND injuries to our troops (ranging from a lost limb to a blown-off face, photos of which you will never see), over a million dead Iraqi civilians, and countless other crimes, it's not so much pity I feel for him. I think justice will not be served until he hangs at the Hague.

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What about a marriage amendment in 2010?

What if we put a restore-the-rights-of-same-sex-marriage amendment on the 2010 ballot?  What if we put it on the ballot in a special election, so we only have the turnout of the impassioned?

(actually, I think all amendments should be handled by an individual, special election, so as not to have them caught up in the passion of a presidential race).

What do you think would happen? I bet it would pass!
 

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The Dishonor Roll

Here's a list of yes-on-prop-8 donors.

We present the Californians Against Hate Dishonor Roll. We want the country to know who gave the $36 million to the Yes on Proposition 8 campaign that ended same-sex marriage in California. We have posted all major donors on our web site who gave $5000.00 and more, many much more! We've taken public information from the California Secretary of State’s Office and added telephone numbers and web sites when available. We also included commentary on some of the more interesting and controversial donors. Individuals and businesses gave a vast amount of money to take away our equality, and we want you to know who they are.

Go down the list. See if you recognize anyone.  (cue ominous music)

Hat tip to Patty.

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Prop 8 legal challenge

Via Kos:

SF City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed suit (PDF) to halt the enactment of Proposition 8 eliminating the right of same-sex couples to marry. Paul Hogarth reviews the plaintiff's brief:

Prop 8 was not your typical "amendment" that merely tinkers with the California Constitution.  It was a drastic revision that deprives a "suspect class" (gays and lesbians) of a fundamental right under equal protection.  And a simple majority vote of the people is not enough to take that right away – especially when the purpose of equal protection is to shield minorities.  While other courts have upheld marriage amendments in other states, they have different Constitutions – and court rulings have changed considerably in a short period of time.  And unlike many states, California has explicitly found sexual orientation to be a "suspect class."  If the Court overrules Prop 8, it will be a powerful affirmation for justice – capping what has been a powerful year of "change."

Santa Clara and LA County have joined the challenge.

Even if voters pass a Constitutional Amendment, the courts can still decide if it was merely an "amendment" – or a substantive "revision."  And if it was a "revision," voter approval by a simple majority is not enough – it also requires an okay by the state legislature (which probably wouldn’t happen), or a constitutional convention.  Why the distinction?  Because mere "amendments" tinker around the edges; "revisions" are far more fundamental changes.

And the Courts have thrown out such changes to the Constitution as "revisions" under the right circumstances [...]

Likewise, Prop 8 is a drastic "revision" (if not moreso) because it violates equal protection for a minority group.

Last May, the California Supreme Court found that depriving same-sex couples the right to marry violated equal protection – and that LGBT people are a "suspect class."  A "suspect class" is a group that has suffered discrimination and needs protection.  The central purpose behind equal protection is to protect unpopular minorities from a political majority who could take away their rights.  You can’t simply change the Constitution by majority vote to take away the right of gay people to marry – because that right comes from the equal protection clause.  As Herrera wrote in his brief, "without a judiciary that has the final word on equal protection, there simply is no such thing as equal protection."

It's too early to lay odds on the likelihood of success, but my initial read into this challenge is surprisingly optimistic. The legal foundation of the challenge is much stronger than I originally guessed.

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