Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I'm Confused

You can't see me right now, but I'm raising my hand and I have a very puzzled look on my face. You know the one, where my head tilts to the left and my eyebrows furl up and my left cheek kind of raises a little bit. Well, it seems that the discussion of whether gay couples should have the right to marry is still being discussed.

I'm confused.

Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) is finally being phased out of the military with high ranking officers speaking to Congress about how its time has passed and shows like Glee have a gay teenage character's father give emotional speeches about the importance of ending anti-gay language among male friends and every social group is celebrating pride weekend this month with their token gay best friend. So, isn't the discussion over? Because you know our country has something called equal protection under the law, often referred to as US constitution amendment 14.

But it seems that this Wednesday is a really big day in California. It's the day the judge overhearing that lawsuit to overturn Prop 8 will heard closing arguments.

What is Prop 8?

Remember that night back in 2008 when we were all working towards something bigger than ourselves, when people danced in the streets until dawn with strangers, and there was a sense that maybe if Ohio and Florida can vote for a black Harvard law professor with a funny name that was raised by a single white mom, than maybe anything was possible? Now do you remember that same night in November when California passed something called Prop 8 that amended CA state constitution to prohibit gay couples to marry?

Yeah that was a bizarre evening.

Soon after election night a lawsuit was brought to the California Supreme Court called Perry v Schwarzenegger. It states that by amending California's constitution to ban gay marriage, California is discriminating against parts of its own population.

I'm confused

This is where I become confused. Why the fuck are we still having this conversation? The whole necessity to have this argument is beyond my grasp of . . . I don't know the right word here. But seriously why the fuck are we having this conversation as a society? I don't understand.

People are equal. It's what we believe. Freedom, equality, Americans are better than anyone else because we have freedom and equality. But then a good portion of our population isn't allowed to love another portion of our population because they have the same sexual organs? I'm so confused.

Bush v Gore

One of the most interesting parts of this case is that the lawyers arguing for the gay couple that sued the state are the same lawyers that argued in Bush v Gore. One of the lawyers argued for Bush and one of the lawyers argued for Gore. Interesting.

Protesting Gay Soldier Funerals

Freedom. Equality. Democracy. With us or against us. I seem to remember all of those words foaming out of the mouths of many many people across the country over the past 8 years. So, why the fuck are conservative wingnuts protesting soldiers funerals with hate speech? Because they are in love with someone of the same gender? What? I'm confused again.

Something that I find extremely interesting is that 48 states have signed on to a lawsuit gearing up to be heard in front of the supreme court banning this disgusting practice due to emotional distress it causes the families of fallen soldiers.

29 Questions

Last week the Judge gave each side a list of 29 questions that are suppose to help each party focus their closing arguments. The list includes questions like:

"What empirical data, if any, supports a finding that legal recognition of same-sex marriage reduces discrimination against gays and lesbians?"

"Even if enforcement of Prop 8 were enjoined, plaintiffs’ marriages would not be recognized under federal law. Can the court find Prop 8 to be unconstitutional without also considering the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act?"

"Until very recently, same-sex relationships did not enjoy legal protection anywhere in the United States. How does this square with plaintiffs’ claim that [same-sex] marriage is a fundamental right? What is the import of evidence showing that marriage has historically been limited to a man and a woman? What evidence shows that that limitation no longer enjoys constitutional recognition."

I have flirted with the idea for many years to go to law school, but when I read about cases like this I realize that is not the place for me. If I were one of those lawyers I don't think I could say anything besides 'are you fucking kidding me?'

If you haven't already checked out Prop 8 Trial Tracker to read up on how the case and crazy people that don't understand that the rest of the country has moved on from this issue because gay people are in fact just people, then you should.


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