Prop 8 Supporters Threaten Recall of CA Supreme Court Justices

November 21, 2008

 

Un-fucking-believable… I am simultaneously outraged and frightened.  Prop 8 supporters are threatening the Justices of the California Supreme Court, and it is the responsibility of those judges not to let fear of recall influence their votes?  How are they supposed to do that?  If it’s not gay marriage, what is the next issue they will be threatened with?  And how are they to vote judiciously and in accordance with the constitution of the State of California if they are under threat?

Is there any length to which these “people” will not go to to ensure gay couples cannot marry?  At what point will “good” “Christians” draw the line?  They shoot doctors who perform abortions, will they start shooting clergy who perform same-sex commitment ceremonies next?  I am furious!

Recall specter hangs over high court as it considers Prop 8 challenges

Backers of the measure banning gay marriage have said they will target justices who vote to overturn it.

… opponents of gay marriage have warned that they will work to oust any justice who votes against Proposition 8, a threat particularly palpable in a year when voters in other states have booted six state high court justices after campaigns by special interest groups.

“It is a time of lots of crocodiles in the bathtub,” said Santa Clara University law professor Gerald Uelmen, who has followed the court for decades. “Their oath requires them to ignore these kinds of political threats. But the threat of having to face a contested election is a significant one.”

Uelmen was using a metaphor coined by the late California Supreme Court Justice Otto Kaus, a Democrat who served on the court with Chief Justice Rose Bird before voters removed her and two justices over their opposition to the death penalty.

Kaus later said that as hard as he tried to decide cases impartially, he was never sure whether the threat of a recall election was influencing his votes.

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Focus on Focus on the Family – Letter from 2012

November 21, 2008

 

before-you-vote2

  

 

Shortly before November election Focus on the Family, James Dobson’s ministry organization, released a fictional letter from an evangelical Christian in the year 2012.  The document is titled “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America.”   A one page introduction explains the 15 page letter to follow.  The letter itself is a very detailed account of all the ways America has failed under President Obama.   The letter was denounced widely by people with functioning brain cells:

  

[this letter] scrapes the bottom of the hate barrel.

Clarksville Online, The voice of Clarksville, Tennessee (this is an excellent, ranty post)

 

James Dobson, you owe America an apology.  The fictional letter released through your Focus on the Family Action organization… crosses all lines of decent public discourse.

Jim Wallis, Huffington Post

 

The so called “letter from 2012” released by James Dobson is one of the most disingenuous pieces of political rhetoric I have ever encountered.

Welton Gaddy, beliefnet blog

 

 

Ok, so if you are not an evangelical Christian living in fear, you didn’t much like the letter – no surprise there.  But what the hell was it all about?  Really?

 

The letter was released in mid October 2008, just prior to the election – at a time when all signs pointed to a victory for Obama.  Nothing short of a miracle (or voter fraud) would have secured the election for McCain.  Dobson had little hope of influencing the outcome of the presidential election at this point.  So, what did he want?  Maybe he just wanted to get his flock to the polls.   The religious right was under-enthused about McCain to begin with; some were threatening not to vote.  If they stayed away from the polls, other critical issues might not go the Right way (abortion rights, gay marriage rights).  The introduction to the letter makes it quite clear he was attempting to influence the election – perhaps just not the presidential election:

Many of [the changes described in this letter], if they occur, will have significant implications for Christians.  This letter is addressed particularly to their concerns so they will be aware of what is at stake before the November 4 election.

 

 

Is that all he wanted though; good voter turnout?  Maybe, but I think the letter was designed to make clear his political agenda for the next four years – and take the first steps to ensure he has the resources to necessary to move that agenda forward.  First he gave his followers a good scolding for allowing Obama to be elected:

Christians didn’t take the time to find out who Barack Obama was when they voted for him.  Why did they risk our nation’s future on him?  It was a mistake that changed the course of history.

 

Then he explained to them, in detail, how the tragic demise of America is the inevitable result of Obama’s presidency.  The letter details travesties from terrorist attacks on US soil, to a Muslim takeover of the UN, to abortions in the streets.  He breaks down the letter, section by section, detailing the doomsday-like scenarios that will unfold over the next four years.  How better to drive your flock into the pews with open wallets than to scare the living shit out of them?  I read enough “pro-Letter” posts to know he did his job well. 

 

So, take out all the rhetoric and fear mongering, and reduce the letter to a list – what’s leftover is the religious right’s agenda.  Point by point, from his letter, the agenda is:

  1. The Supreme Court
  2. Gay Marriage
  3. Religious Speech in the Public Square
  4. Abortion
  5. Pornography
  6. Gun Ownership
  7. Education / Home Schooling
  8. Military Policy
  9. Health Care
  10. Taxes, the Economy and the Poor
  11. Talk Radio
  12. Christian Publishers
  13. Prosecution of Bush Administration Officials (the avoidance of)

 

So, what’s my point?  I have so many I don’t know where to start.  I’m starting to focus on Focus on the Family and it is scaring the shit out of me, and i just wanted to make sure every thinking person in America is aware of this letter.

 

 

For “fun,” here’s an excerpt from the letter dealing with my favorite topic, “marriage” equality:

The most far-reaching transformation of American society came from the Supreme Court’s stunning affirmation, in early 2010 (That soon?  I hope sure hope so), that homosexual “marriage” was a “constitutional” right that had to be respected by all 50 states because laws barring same-sex “marriage” violated the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.  Suddenly, homosexual “marriage” was the law of the land in all 50 states, and no state legislature, no state Supreme Court, no state Constitutional amendment, not even Congress, had any power to change it.  The Supreme Court had ruled, and the discussion was over (Funny how that works, hah?).  This was a blatant example of creating law by the cour, for homosexual “marriage” was mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, nor would any of the authors have imagined that same-sex “marriage” could be derived from their words. But it just followed the precedents that had been set by the state supreme courts in Massachusetts (2003), California (2008) (Bad call there Jim) and Connecticut (2008).

 

President Obama repeated his declaration that he personally was against same-sex “marriage”, but he told the Nation there was nothing he could do.  The Supreme Court had ruled, and it was now the law of the land.  The president asked the nation to support the decision.

 

After that decision, many other policies changed, and several previous Supreme Court cases were reversed rather quickly – raising the question, “Is America still the land of the free?”

 

1. Boy Scouts: “The land of the free”?  The Boy Scouts no longer exist as an organization.  They chose to disband rather than be forced to obey the Supreme Court decision that they would have to hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys (Uh huh, because it’s fags who are pedophiles not Catholic priests?).  (This was to be expected with a change in the court, since the 2000 decision Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, which affirmed the right of the Boy Scouts as a private organization to dismiss a homosexual scoutmaster, was a 5-4 decision, with Stevens, Ginsburg, Souter and Breyerdissenting even then.)

 

It had become increasingly difficult for the Boy Scouts to find meeting places anyway, because in 2009 Congress passed and President Obama gned an expansion of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which extended federal civil rights protections to people engaging in homosexual behavior (gasp!  NO!).  So they Boy Scouts had already been kicked out of all public facilities (WTF??  Illogical?  Does that even begin to describe this nonsensical statement)??

 

2. Elementary schools:“The land of the free?  Elementary schools no include compulsory training in varieties of gender identity in Grade 1, including the goodness (did he seriously use the word “goodness?”) of homosexuality as on possible personal choice.  Many parents tried to “opt out” their children from such sessions, but the courts ruled they cannot do this, noting that education experts in the government had decided such training is essential to children’s psychological health.

 

Many Christian teachers objected to teaching first-graders that homosexual behavior was morally neutral and equal to heterosexuality.  They said it violated their consciences to have to teach something the Bible viewed as morally wrong (don’t even get me started on this sentence).  But state after state ruled that their refusal to teach positively about homosexuality was the equivalent of hate speech, and they had to teach it or be fired.  Tens of thousands of Christian teachers either quit or were fired, and there are hardly any evangelical teachers in public schools any more.

 

Non-Christians found this hard to understand.  “Why not just teach what the school says even if it’s not your personal opinion?  So what.  We can’t have every teacher deciding what he or she wants to teach, can we?”

 

But the Christian teachers kept coming back to something Jesus said: “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned to the depth of the sea” (Matthew 18:6).  And they quit by the thousands, no matter the personal cost, rather than commit what they believed to be a direct sin against God.

 

In addition, many private Christian schools decided to shut down after the Supreme Court ruled that anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation extended to private institutions such as schools and that private schools also had to obey the law and teach that homosexuality and heterosexuality are both morally good choices.

 

3. Adoption Agencies:“The land of the free”?  There are no more Roman Catholic or evangelical Protestant adoption agencies in the United States.  Following earlier rulings in New York and Massachusetts, the U.S. Supreme Court in 2011 ruled that these agencies had to agree to place children with homosexual couples or lose their licenses.  Just as the Catholic Charities adoption agency had closed down for this reason in Massachusetts in 2006 so all similar agencies across the United States have now closed down rather thanvilate their consciences about the moral wrong of homosexual behavior.

 

Christians parents seeking to adopt have tried going through secular adoption agencies, but they are increasingly excluding parents with “narrow” or dangerous views on religion or homosexuality.

 

4. Businesses with government contracts:“The land of the free”?  All businesses that have government contracts at the national, state or local level now have to provide documentaion of equal benefits for same-sex couples.  this was needed to overcome “systemic discrimination” against them and followed on a national level the pattern of policies already in place ni San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.

 

5. Public broadcasting:“The land of the free?”  the bible can no longer be freely preached over radio or television when the subject matter includes such “offensive” doctrines as criticizing homosexual behavior.  The Supreme Court agreed that these could be kept off the air as prohibited “hate speech” that is likely to incite violence and discrimintation.  these policies followed broadcasting and print restrictions that were in place prior to 2008 in Canada and Sweden.

 

6. Doctors and lawyers:“The land of the free”?  Physiscians who refuse to provide artificial insemination for lesbian couples now face significant fines or loss of their license to practice medicine, folowing the reasoning of a decision of the California Supreme Court in North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group v. Superior Court of San Diego County (Benitez)which was announced August 18, 2008.  As a result, many Christian physicians have retired or left the practices of family medicine and obstetrics & gynecology.  Lawyers who refuse to hadnle adoption cases for same-sex couples similarly now lose their licenses to practice law.

 

7. Counselors and social workers: “The land of the free”?  All other professionals who are licensed by individual states are also prohibited from discriminating against homosexuals.  Social workers and counselors, even counselors in church staff positions, who refuse to provide “professional, appropriately nurturing marriage counseling” for homosexual couples lose their counseling licenses.  Thousands of Christians have left these professions as a result.

 

8. Homosexual weddings:“The land of the free”?  Church buildings are now considered to be a “public accomodation” by the Supreme Court, and churches have no freedom to refuse to allow their buildings to be used for wedding ceremonies for homsexual couples.  If they refuse, they lose their tax-exempt status, and they are increasingly becoming subject to fines and antidiscrimination lawsuits.

 

9. Homosexual church staff members:“The land of the free”?  While churches are still free to turn down homosexual applicants for the job of senior pastor, churches adn parachurch organizations are no longer free to reject homosexual applicants for staff positions such as parttime youth pastor or director of couseling.  Those that have rejected homosexual applicants have had their tax-exempt status revoked, and now the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has begun to impose heavy fines for each instance of such “discrimination,” which, they say, is “contrary to the U.S. Constitution as defined by the Supreme Court.”  These fines follow the pattern of a precedent-setting case in February 2008, in which the Diocese of Hereford in the Church of England was fined $94,000 (47,000 UK pounds) for turning down a homosexual applicant for a youth ministry position.

 

10. Homesexuals in the military: One change regarding the status of homosexuals did not wait for any Supreme Court decision.  In the first week after his inauguration, President Obama invited homosexual rights leaders from around the United States to join him at the White Huose as he signed an executive order directing all branches of the military to abandon their “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and to start actively recruiting homosexuals.  As a result, homosexuals are now given special bonuses for enlisting in military service  (to attempt to compensate for past discrimination) (Oh Please!?!?!  As if our government would ever give a bunch of queers money?  They still haven’t apologized for slavery for God’s sake.), and all new recruits, and all active duty and reserve personnel, are compelled to take many hours of “sensitivity training” to ensure they demonstrate positive attitudes toward those with different sexual orientation and practices.  Any one who seems hesitant or who objects is routinely passed over for promotion.  In addition, any chaplain who holds to an interpretation of Scripture that homosexual conduct is morally wrong and therefore does not espouse “mainstream values,” is dismissed from the military.  This is not the land of the free for them.

 

 

I’m not positive but I think he gave the most space to homosexuals.  🙂  For some reason, I love that.

 

Click here for a more detailed analysis of the entire letter.


An Almighty Tantrum!

November 20, 2008

 

For weeks I have read comment upon comment accusing Prop 8 opponents of throwing tantrums because we did not get our way.  To which I screamed “WE DO NOT!  WE DO NOT!” (whilst throwing a tantrum about being accused of throwing a tantrum).  So, I give.  I am throwing a tantrum.

Reeva Dubois on why he’s glad Prop 8 passed:

I have no doubt – NONE – that the fallout of Prop 8 will ultimately lead to the federal legalization of same-sex marriage. It might not be next year or ten years from now, but it’s on its way. The gays around this country are organizing, protesting, reaching out to those who continue to misunderstand our lives and stories, and since I have faith in America and everything she represents, I know we will win. That’s why I’m glad Prop 8 passed – it has given the gay rights movement a solid foundation from which to throw an Almighty Tantrum, and we will NEVER shut up about it!

This full essay is beautifully written, thanks Reeva!


What will happen if Prop 8 is overturned?

November 20, 2008

 

consequences-of-gay-marriage1

 

Oh god that’s funny.  Thanks Ang!


Biased Coverage of Prop 8?

November 20, 2008

 

My previous post regarding the California Supreme Court’s decision to hear cases regarding the legality of Prop 8 contains the text of a Sacramento Bee article.  Something seemed a bit off balance about the article to me, so I did a little math and found:

525
Total words in article

217
Words that relay facts, without opinion or editorial (the “important” words)

256
Words that present the opinion or reaction of the anti-gay marriage community.

52
Words that present the opinion of reaction of the pro-gay marriage community.

 
Um, what the hell?  Gay marriage opponents got more press space than the facts, and roughly 5 times the space of Prop 8 opponents?  This is journalism?


SacBee on the CA Supreme Court Decision to take on Prop 8

November 19, 2008

Supreme Court takes up gay marriage issue

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008

The California Supreme Court agreed Wednesday to consider complaints by opponents of Proposition 8 that it improperly revised the constitution to ban gay marriage. The court declined to stay its enforcement in the meantime.

Court spokeswoman Lynn Holton said the court asked the parties involved to write briefs arguing three issues:

(1) Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?

(2) Does Proposition 8 violate the separation-of-powers doctrine under the California Constitution?

(3) If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?

Holton said the court established an expedited briefing schedule. She said oral argument could be held as early as March 2009.

While most proponents of the initiative had welcomed a Supreme Court review, one advocate of traditional marriage denounced the court’s decision to consider Proposition 8’s constitutionality.

“It’s unfortunate that the judges are giving time to the mushy, subjective arguments of homosexual activists who reject the clear reading of the constitution and the clear reading of Proposition 8,” Randy Thomasson, president of the Campaign for Children and Families, said in a statement. “If the court disobeys the constitution by voiding Prop. 8, it will ignite a voter revolt. It will also threaten the validity of all future constitutional amendments.”

Thomasson said the court is “playing with fire” by threatening to reverse a vote of the people.

“The California Constitution clearly says that the voters have the right to alter the highest law of the land,” he said. “It’s the beauty of the American system of government. The four Supreme Court justices who unconstitutionally invented homosexual ‘marriages’ — Ron George, Joyce Kennard, Kathryn Werdegar and Carlos Moreno — seem to be ignoring the fact that the people get the last word, not the judges.”

The campaign committee that pushed the measure said it is “profoundly gratified” that court granted its requests and refused to allow outside groups like Thomasson’s to participate directly in the cases.

“This is a great day for the rule of law and the voters of California,” said ProtectMarriage.com General Counsel Andy Pugno in a statement. “This order means that voters will get their day in court and ensures that voters will have a vigorous defense of Proposition 8 before the California Supreme Court. We are profoundly gratified with the Court’s order and are confident that Proposition 8 will be upheld.”

The state’s highest court essentially agreed to the approach supported by state Attorney General Jerry Brown, who on Monday urged the justices to review legal challenges to Proposition 8 “to provide certainty and finality in this matter.” His office also argued that the court should allow the measure to remain in effect during the review period because doing otherwise would cause confusion.

Elizabeth Gill, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California, said opponents of Proposition 8 would have preferred that the court allow gay marriages until the issue is decided.

“We’re disappointed that the court didn’t issue a stay, but we’re very encouraged that the court is taking the case,” she said.


CA Supreme Court will hear cases regarding Proposition 8

November 19, 2008

 

This is wonderful news!!

 

California Supreme Court Grants Review in Prop 8 Legal Challenges

 Court to Determine Constitutionality of Prop 8

Today the California Supreme Court granted review in the legal challenges to Proposition 8, which passed by a narrow margin of 52 percent on November 4. In an order issued today, the Court agreed to hear the case and set an expedited briefing schedule. The Court also denied an immediate stay.     

On November 5, 2008, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit challenging the validity of Proposition 8 in the California Supreme Court on behalf of six couples and Equality California. The City of San Francisco, joined by the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, and Santa Clara County, filed a similar challenge, as did a private attorney in Los Angeles.

The lawsuits allege that, on its face, Proposition 8 is an improper revision rather than an amendment of the California Constitution because, in its very title, which was “Eliminates the right to marry for same-sex couples,” the initiative eliminated an existing right only for a targeted minority. If permitted to stand, Proposition 8 would be the first time an initiative has successfully been used to change the California Constitution to take way an existing right only for a particular group. [emphasis mine] Such a change would defeat the very purpose of a constitution and fundamentally alter the role of the courts in protecting minority rights.   According to the California Constitution, such a serious revision of our state Constitution cannot be enacted through a simple majority vote, but must first be approved by two-thirds of the Legislature.   

Since the three lawsuits submitted on November 5, three other lawsuits challenging Proposition 8 have been filed. In a petition filed on November 14, 2008, leading African American, Latino, and Asian American groups argued that Proposition 8 threatens the equal protection rights of all Californians.

On November 17, 2008, the California Council of Churches and other religious leaders and faith organizations representing millions of members statewide, also filed a petition asserting that Proposition 8 poses a severe threat to the guarantee of equal protection for all, and was not enacted through the constitutionally required process for such a dramatic change to the California Constitution. On the same day, prominent California women’s rights organizations filed a petition asking the Court to invalidate Proposition 8 because of its potentially disastrous implications for women and other groups that face discrimination.

In May of 2008, the California Supreme Court held that barring same-sex couples from marriage violates the equal protection clause of the California Constitution and violates the fundamental right to marry. Proposition 8 would completely eliminate the right to marry only for same-sex couples. No other initiative has ever successfully changed the California Constitution to take away a right only from a targeted minority group.    

Over the past 100 years, the California Supreme Court has heard nine cases challenging either legislative enactments or initiatives as invalid revisions of the California Constitution. In three of those cases, the Court invalidated those measures.

Via EQCA.  For more about the cases click here.