There are two issues guaranteed to get the wing-nuts to the polls even if they have to crawl on their bellies over barbed wire in a typhoon. The first is anything to do with not being able to let their kids under ten play with howitzers; the second voting magnet is anything to do with the possibility that Bob and Bruce might marry. “Holy Homosexual,” Batman!!!”
Well, the “have gun will travel” crowd is now putting Uzi’s in their nine-year-old girl’s hands (with fatal consequences), so howitzers can’t be far behind. For the most part, the Florida guy gunning down 7 family members and then himself and little girl Uzi killings, notwithstanding, guns are not a major component of this year’s mid-terms. Congrats NRA. So that leaves the gay marriage issue. In the past month or so there has been a whirlwind of activity on the same-sex marriage front. On the surface, it all seems to accrue to the benefit of those gay couples wishing that the same rights be bestowed upon them as the rest of the American citizenry. Especially, the right to marry.
And suddenly, overnight, that battle appears to be won. Earlier this month the Supreme Court refused to take appeals from five homophobic, er “concerned” right-wing, bible-thumping states hoping to keep gays from marrying. With a judicial yawn, the Supremes told the affected states not to darken their multi-columned neoclassical temple anytime soon. “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”
That decision unleashed an explosion of great rejoicing in the gay community. Legally, here’s what it means according to Cornell University Law Professor, Michael Dorf in an opinion piece for Justia. On the surface, the court is aping an earlier action from the civil rights era. Political benign neglect, you might say. By putting the cases on the back burner, previously granted stays and appeals of court rulings and continuing bans on gay marriage, went the way of the Edsel and it was all hands on board for some 30 states to start granting same-sex unions. THIRTY states in a simple wave of the hand. That’s a lot to wrap your brain around in such a short period. Included in recent rulings would be trial court and appeals court decisions giving the OK to such marriages.
Dorf writes that the dismissal is a statement by the majority of the current court that, gee, maybe same-sex marriage is constitutional after all. He cites the precedent of the same indifference by the court in the iconic Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954. The professor advances the proffer that it’s only a matter of time before all 50 states and DC will be open to gay marriage.
Uh, yeah! Maybe. Pardon the cynicism, but I think there could be an alternate strategy in play here. On the other hand, one must remember the intractable position of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who abandoned his four predictably right-wing colleagues on the Defense of Marriage (DOMA) decision, where Kennedy voted with the “liberal” majority back in June of last year in striking down this distasteful hunk of homophobia. So, the current indifference could be legit. It’s just the timing of this sudden nonchalance that leaves me with a few questions. There is also the matter that in some jurisdictions, the red states will do whatever they feel like doing with the issue, no matter the decision of any court. It’s the radical state’s version of nullification without portfolio.
For example, a federal judge struck down a ban on gay marriages in Alaska. The reaction from Governor Sean Parnell’s office was, hold your horses, we ain’t marryin’ no gays until we appeal this ruling. And that’s a response you’re going to hear across a lot of witless hater states.
Then there’s the matter of County Clerks simply refusing to issue licenses to gay couples, no matter what the judges say. That’s already happening in South Carolina, where the Attorney General Alan Wilson (Joe’s step-son) says they’ll be no Bruce/Bob or Bernice/Betty nuptials until the legal outcomes of two federal lawsuits are handed down. That could take months, maybe longer. Meanwhile, is there a clerk in the state with enough guts to grant a marriage license, now ostensibly legal? As pro wrestler, Steve Austin used to exclaim, “Oh, hell no!”
It’s interesting that both South Carolina and North Carolina are under the jurisdiction of a Virginia ruling by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals striking down that state’s same-sex marriage ban. The ruling applies equally to the Carolinas. In the middle of the North Carolina fray is House Speaker Thom (the ‘h’ stands for homophobe) Tillis. Tillis tried to push another federal judge in Greensboro to hear two other cases that were put off until a later date. Republican Tillis is currently in a heated race for the U.S. Senate with Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan.
If this were WW 2, it would be 1943 at best.
North Carolinians, like Southern gay-bashers everywhere, hate homosexuals. About 2 ½ years ago, the populace voted on an amendment called “Amendment 1.” This embarrassment read that the state would not recognize or perform marriages or civil unions between same-sex partners. The vote was in the neighborhood of 61 to 39 percent. For gay couples, I wouldn’t recommend driving through North Carolina after dark (Asheville, one of the coolest towns in the country, excepted). It’s sad, no, incredibly disgusting, that in this day and age, entire states exist based on hate
So, that’s most likely the plan. Fire up the right and get them to the polls so they can grab off state and national house and senate seats and statewide offices to further put their ruinous stamp on this once great country.
Democrats, you might want to vote this time around.