Archives – February, 2010
By Julia Rosen
I hope you are all having a lovely weekend.
Here are the next two installments of the trial reenactment from MarriageTrial.com.
by Brian Leubitz
The AFER legal team has filed their summary of the Prop 8 trial. All 294 pages of it. Officially titled the Plaintiffs’ Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, the document lays out what the plaintiff’s believe they have proved and the findings that they believe are in order. Here’s the gist:
The trial proved that:
- Prop. 8 does irreparable harm to Americans
- Marriage has shed discriminatory restrictions over time
- Gay men and lesbians are entitled to the full protection of the 14th Amendment
- There is no good reason for Prop. 8’s denial of fundamental civil rights
Much of this information was laid out at the final courthouse press conference at the end of January. If you didn’t get a chance to see that, it is at the bottom of this post.
Look, what this comes down to is what we have known for years. Those who oppose marriage equality do it either out of fear, tradition, or religious reasons. We all disagree with that, but for many (but not all) these are sincerely held beliefs. And while I sincerely hope I will see that number dwindle markedly during my lifetime, I know that these people exist. If they choose to discriminate against gays and lesbians in their churches, that is their right. At your church, you need only marry those whom you wish. Heck, I’m not sure if an equality focused body like the MCC Church would want to be forced to marry two people any more than the Mormons would.
But as to the law, the law is on our side. Fear, tradition, and religiosity are not valid reasons under the law to discriminate. As the Prop 8 team’s own “expert” witnesses admitted, marriage would benefit LGBT families, their children, and even the nation.
“We would be more American on the day we permitted same-sex marriage than we were on the day before,” Blankenhorn wrote.
He said Tuesday he still holds that view, and also believes that allowing gays and lesbians to marry would probably be good for the couples and their children. (SF Chronicle)
As to the general facts, we all know them. Their one non-religion based argument, “think of the children…marriage is for the children,” has never made sense. Marriage has never been limited to procreative unions, otherwise we would require fertility tests before a marriage license was granted.
Yet, the evidence the plaintiffs presented in the case clearly shows the harm that Prop 8′s marriage ban has caused. It stigmatizes LGBT couples, creates multiple classes of Californians, and generally treats different people unequally under the law.
The facts, the law, the morals. They’re all there for anybody to see. But, the question that now remains is whether our judiciary is willing to see the facts for what they are.
Justice isn’t always swift or easy. We have to fight for it every step of the way. This case is just one small step along a much longer journey. As David Blankenhorn alludes to, America is a profoundly good nation, with a deep sense of social justice embedded in our law, our Constitution, and our definition of what it means to be an American. We haven’t always done right at the time we should do right. But we always struggle to overcome injustice. And, Prop 8 is an injustice of the highest order; it will be remedied.
The question is just how long it will take us to become “more American.”
By Julia Rosen
A new group launched yesterday called Fight Back New York, which is focused on creating the political landscape needed to bring marriage equality to New York. There are a number of great organizers behind this effort, including several friends of mine. Fight Back New York got its initial seed money from major LGBT political donor Tim Gill, but this project is designed to build a larger movement and base of support for independent expenditures in opposition to those who voted against equality.
Gay and lesbian New Yorkers have waited too long already for full equality. Committed activists have worked diligently for years to educate the public and our elected officials about the need for marriage equality. Last year a group of New York State Senators voted against marriage equality, neglecting the will of their constituents. Now a great group of progressives are fighting back.
To find out more and join the fight go to: http://fightbackpac.com/fight.
Their first target is former Senatore Hiram Monseratte, who is quite a piece of work:
Fight Back New York’s first campaign is aimed at defeating expelled State Senator Hiram Monserrate. Sen. Monserrate is currently running in a special election (scheduled for March 16) to regain his seat. Sen. Monserrate was expelled from the state senate in February following his conviction for misdemeanor assault of a female companion.
Following the March 16th special election, Fight Back New York will engage in a strategic examination of the political landscape and—together with allies and partners—determine where to channel its significant energies and resources in the rest of the 2010 New York election cycle.
It’s not long until that special election, but it will be interesting to see what Fight Back New York is able to accomplish in that window and how they build upon that to catapult into the rest of the election year.