Scalia, as predicted

Three years ago I made a prediction about Political Figure Antonin Scalia regarding his professed adherence to stare decisis as it relates to same-sex marriage:

Lawrence v Texas established adequate precedence for the constitutional legalization of same-sex marriage. At least it did in political figure Scalia’s view. (In reality, the 14th Amendment established it.) That means that once same-sex marriage makes it way to the Supreme Court in the coming years, Scalia is going to rule in favor of it. That is, if he really does care about stare decisis. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

I hope I’m wrong, but here’s my prediction: Scalia is going to rule against same-sex marriage in overt defiance of the principles he pretends he holds.

What I was arguing here was that Scalia had whined in Lawrence that the Court’s decision to disallow governmental interference in the bedroom of consenting adults had, effectively, established precedence for same-sex marriage. That is, Scalia wrote in his dissent that if the Court could overturn a state’s ability to legislate against something based upon a moral opposition to homosexuality, then it would also have the power to overturn a state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Since Scalia is a self-professed lover of stare decisis – he believes past decisions must be taken into account in new decisions – it would only make sense for him to side with same-sex marriage proponents. Even though he dissented in Lawrence, the decision set precedent that, according to Scalia himself, the Court had the necessary latitude to strike down any ban on same-sex marriage that was premised on moral opposition. Today, however, he dissented in Obergefell v. Hodges, in blatant violation of his alleged principles and in full satisfaction of my three year old prediction.

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Equality in Minnesota

I find this one particularly satisfying given the interactions I’ve had with some bigots from Minnesota:

Minnesota is poised to become the second Midwestern state to legalize same-sex marriage after the state House of Representatives approved a bill Thursday that would allow the practice.

The House had been considered the measure’s toughest hurdle. The bill passed 75 to 59 and heads to the state’s Democratic-majority Senate, which is expected to consider it Monday.

Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, has said he will sign the measure.

Unsurprisingly, the biggest objection to equality came from the religious quarter. Denouncing that they were bigots, many appealed to the fact that their misgiving were premised not in hatred, but rather deep belief. As if the sincerity of the bigotry changes that it is, in stark fact, bigotry.

And the march continues…

Deciding that the right side of history is where they want to be, the U.K., France, and Illinois have all taken steps this month toward putting into law a requirement that same-sex couples be allowed to marry. I think we can expect to see more of this in parts of the world that tend to be enlightened. And if we’re lucky, the U.S. Supreme Court will follow the 14th Amendment and declare that marriage for same-sex couples is required so long as a state decides it wants to have marriage at all. (As I’ve said before, I expect Political Figure Scalia to contradict previous arguments he has made and principles he has stated, but I hope I’m wrong.)

Sorry, Christians, but gays are people, too

Good news has been popping up over the past week or so for the rights of gay Americans:

A federal appeals court in California has denied a petition to have Prop 8 -the 2008 California ballot initiative that defines marriage as between a man and a woman – further reviewed by a larger panel of judges, which means the case likely is headed to the Supreme Court of the United States.

In February , the majority of a three judge panel sitting on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down Prop 8 ruling that the initiative “serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California and to officially reclassify their relationship and families as inferior to those of opposite-sex couples.” The court ruled on narrow grounds specific to California and Proposition 8. It did not find a fundamental right of same sex couples to marry.

Supporters of Prop 8 – opponents of gay marriage – had asked for “en banc” review of the case. This would have meant that the Chief Judge of the circuit along with 10 randomly selected judges would have mooted their colleagues’ decision and started anew. But in a filing today the court said that a majority of judges had voted to deny the petition.

We all know that Political Figure Scalia made his decision on this matter a few decades ago, and we all know that once Political Lapdog Thomas gets word of his lawless colleague’s position he will also be voting against equal rights. But that said, it’s hard to imagine the Supreme Court, even with 4 devoted bigots, will ultimately rule against fair treatment under the law. Sure, it took them until the 1950’s to make the right call on the mirror issue of racial segregation, gays in America have been swift with showing just how much of this country they are. Now that over half the nation is ready for equal rights for gays, I think the Supreme Court may be ready, too.

Plus there’s this:

Today’s ruling comes a week after a federal appeals court in Boston struck down a key provision of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In that case, legally married same sex couples argue that the federal government is denying them benefits available to opposite sex couples.

The Supreme Court will most likely consider both the Prop 8 case and the DOMA cases next term.

The tide is a-turnin’.

Gay marriage to appear on Maine ballot once again

After the Maine legislature and governor passed equal rights measures for gays in terms of marriage in 2009, our religiously-motivated bigots got organized and turned the clock back quite quickly. They won that battle, but the war continues:

Gay-marriage advocates turned in more than enough signatures to move ahead with a citizen initiative that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry in Maine, the secretary of state’s office ruled Thursday.

More than 85,000 signatures were declared valid. The groups needed only 57,277 signatures for their bill to get to the Legislature.

The decision means lawmakers will now be presented with a citizen initiative to allow gay marriage in Maine.

I’m proud to say my signature was among those turned into the secretary of state.

I’m cautiously optimistic about this. It’s great that this is back on the ballot, and early poll numbers are positive, but equal rights were defeated by a hefty margin in 2009, 53-47. It’s going to be an uphill battle for sure, but I suspect it will help that it is a Presidential election year.

At any rate, even if we continue to treat some people in Maine as second-class citizens after this November, it’s only a matter of time before the state gets on the right side of history and continues to make New England proud.

A prediction on Scalia

Lawrence v Texas was a case the Supreme Court had roughly a decade ago. The central question was whether or not states had the right to legislate private sexual acts between consenting adults. Specifically, Texas and other states had anti-sodomy laws meant to target gays. The court called bullshit and rightly pointed out the lack of constitutionality of such invasions of privacy. In the dissent to the law, political figure Scalia and Chester the Terrier avatar Thomas (and fashionista Rehnquist) gave some terrible arguments for their pre-decided votes. I want to focus on what Scalia said.

Part of what the chubby little shitbag did was appeal to stare decisis, something he applies only when convenient to his political ideology. But more importantly in his dissent is his exploration of the implications of the ruling:

One of the benefits of leaving regulation of this matter to the people rather than to the courts is that the people, unlike judges, need not carry things to their logical conclusion. The people may feel that their disapprobation of homosexual conduct is strong enough to disallow homosexual marriage, but not strong enough to criminalize private homosexual acts–and may legislate accordingly. The Court today pretends that it possesses a similar freedom of action, so that that we need not fear judicial imposition of homosexual marriage, as has recently occurred in Canada (in a decision that the Canadian Government has chosen not to appeal). See Halpern v. Toronto, 2003 WL 34950 (Ontario Ct. App.); Cohen, Dozens in Canada Follow Gay Couple’s Lead, Washington Post, June 12, 2003, p. A25. At the end of its opinion–after having laid waste the foundations of our rational-basis jurisprudence–the Court says that the present case “does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.” Ante, at 17. Do not believe it.

In other words, Lawrence v Texas established adequate precedence for the constitutional legalization of same-sex marriage. At least it did in political figure Scalia’s view. (In reality, the 14th Amendment established it.) That means that once same-sex marriage makes it way to the Supreme Court in the coming years, Scalia is going to rule in favor of it. That is, if he really does care about stare decisis. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

I hope I’m wrong, but here’s my prediction: Scalia is going to rule against same-sex marriage in overt defiance of the principles he pretends he holds.

Equality in New York

Equality has passed in New York:

New York lawmakers narrowly voted to legalize same-sex marriage Friday, handing activists a breakthrough victory in the state where the gay rights movement was born.

New York will become the sixth state where gay couples can wed and the biggest by far.

“We are leaders and we join other proud states that recognize our families and the battle will now go on in other states,” said Sen. Thomas Duane, a Democrat…

The New York bill cleared the Republican-controlled state Senate on a 33-29 vote. The Democrat-led Assembly, which passed a different version last week, is expected to pass the new version with stronger religious exemptions and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who campaigned on the issue last year, has promised to sign it. Same-sex couples can begin marrying begin 30 days after that.

Good.