The religious extremists behind Proposition 8 didn’t like the outcome, which of course, when the Supreme Court swatted them down like annoying flies on Wednesday by overturning DOMA.
On Sunday, they were swatted a second time when, CNN reports, “Justice Anthony Kennedy refused to vacate a stay of a decision Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco.”
Ouch. That’s gotta hurt. And here conservatism’s patron saint, Ronald Reagan, had appointed Anthony Kennedy.
I mean, Sodom and Gomorrah being played out all around them and all they can do is spew hate and outrage and stomp their little feet.
It’s a rather amusing tale, as it happens. After all, the Supreme Court had ruled that private parties lack the standing to back Proposition 8 in court. Remember Chief Justice John Roberts words? “We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend a state statute when state officials have chosen not to.”
Did they think the court would decide suddenly that private parties have that right? California courts had already ruled that their complaints lacked substance, and now they lacked standing as well, but like frat boys when women are involved they couldn’t let no mean no.
As Crissie Brown wrote here yesterday, they can’t see past their prior convictions. Facts can’t and won’t intrude.
Just like “no” means “yes” to conservatives when it comes to what women want, “never” means “possibly.” They’re privileged remember, allegedly Christians and the old adage is that “there is no crime for those who have Christ.”
So forward they went like good little crusaders. Proposition 8’s backers argued that an appeals court acted improperly when it allowed same-sex marriages to resume on Friday. Despite their lack of standing, they appealed to stop the process, applying to the Supreme Court to issue “an immediate order vacating” the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision.
Without the immediate relief requested by this Application, the Ninth Circuit will circumvent proper rules and procedures established by this Court.
The rules and procedures referred to are that only after 25 days does a Supreme Court ruling become final. This gives folks the chance to ask for a rehearing, and such applications must be made within that time period.
The Ninth Circuit did not wait 25 days but acted almost immediately.
California Governor Jerry Brown agreed with the Ninth Circuit, and informed his state that same-sex marriage was now legal in California:
I have directed the California Department of Public Health to advise the state’s counties that they must begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in California as soon as the Ninth Circuit confirms the stay is lifted.
Hypocritically (of course) the champions of turning women into sexual chattel whined, and Austin Nimocks, the senior counsel for the ironically-named Alliance Defending Freedom said on Sunday,
Everyone on all sides of the marriage debate should agree that the legal process must be followed. The 9th Circuit has failed to abide by its own word that the stay would remain in place until final disposition by the Supreme Court. When courts act contrary to their own statements, the public’s confidence in the justice system is undermined.
Wait a minute!
Since when do conservatives want the legal process to be followed? Since when do they follow it themselves, with their secret sessions and underhanded practices?
As it turns out, there is some wiggle room for actual freedom, and Manny Rivera, spokesperson for the American Foundation for Equal Rights said,
The Ninth Circuit had broad discretion as to whether to stay the injunction pending appeal,” said Manny Rivera, a spokesman for “Now that the Supreme Court has decided that the injunction against Proposition 8 must stand, it was entirely appropriate for the Ninth Circuit to dissolve its stay of that injunction.
The result is that equal protection actually means equal protection, and not a privileged position for religious bigots. Isn’t that amazing?
None of this will put an end to the belief that belief trumps fact and it won’t put the brakes on conservatism’s by-now institutional cognitive dissonance. After all, if no can mean yes and never can mean possibly, then “all” can mean “some.”
But the Supreme Court ruling and the affirmation of the ruling by Justice Kennedy is a victory for fact; for the fact that when the Constitution says we’re all equal, it’s not joking. That under the law, we all enjoy the same rights.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.