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Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’

Since forever, women have endured the calumny that they aren’t good leaders because they are too emotional, irrational, non-competitive, and weak to oversee or be equals with men in the workplace. What harm would it do if for a while we indulge the opposite conclusion: that men are too territorial, unitasking, uncooperative, combative, and prone to sexual stimulation to be leaders, to be over-represented in the workforce or be overcompensated in pay? Just for fun, what if we thought that way for a while?

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Antonin Scalia’s Not Very Gay Day

By Dr. Seuss

 

Oh I do not like that jiggery pokery

Or your startling wuz-wuz

Or your Kalamazoo

I do not like your decisions mystical

They are quite egotistical

To say who can love a what

Or a what can love a who

Just ask any hippie

Who is dippy or quippy

If he really believes all of your hippity flippity

That when jiggery pokery is on the menu

By the fish and fowl and hens too

That words will have no meaning

And all the talkers’ talk is puffed to o’erweening

I do not accept words that say more than they say

Is this is or is this not a sunny day?

Or is this is or is this not a rainy day?

Or was this both a rainy or a sunny day?

(Oh how confusing

When we wish to make hay!)

Oh I am so confused by that jiggery pokery

And by all the other justices’ hokery smokery

If marriages were meant to be happy

Then not all the wishity fishities would

Call them quite crappy

The law is the law and it says what it says

And only what is said is allowed in my head

Because Oh How I hate all that jiggery pokery

I will not eat it with a smolting smolt smokery

The law is not concerned with intimate affairs

Any more than my fanny is beloved by my chair

I will not be gay because I’m not obliged to

I’d rather protect rights of the guns, clubs and knives, too

 

 

 

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So we’ve finally come to the end of the debate over marriage equality and our gay friends Imagehave won an unquestionable legal right to marry. Right?

Well, no.

Wednesday’s historic Supreme Court decision invalidating the key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, has likely set the stage for a series of arguments in the state houses over the issue. The majority opinion in the United States v. Windsor, written by Anthony Kennedy, essentially says that the Defense of Marriage Act for no good reason allowed the federal government to stick its nose into a state issue, the affairs of family, to single out one group and injure a class of people that one of those states, New York in this case, sought to protect. As he put it:

“DOMA’s avowed purpose and practical effect are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the States.”

What the decision doesn’t do, however, is make gay marriage the new law of the land. By making this a state issue, the court left open the unhappy idea that it might not strike down gay marriage bans in less liberal states.

Look at the decision on California’s gay marriage ban handed down the same day. In that ruling the court decided not to take up an appeal on California’s law, but this was an issue of standing, not the constitutionality of criminalizing gay nuptials. The state of California had refused to defend the law any longer, and the gay marriage opponents who appealed had no direct stake in that appeal, so legally the Supreme Court didn’t have to argue the substance before it simply passed the hot potato right into the garbage. (The majority opinion in that vote offered an interesting Red Rover game in which Roberts stood alongside justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan against Sam Alito and Sonia Sotomayor, crews as motley as one could imagine.) The decision in Windsor also found an executive branch–Barack Obama’s–unwilling to fight for the DOMA, so a party directed by Congress had to get involved.

Of course, the standing issue is important to this argument for myriad reasons. Standing means that a plaintiff must have been directly harmed or have some connection to the harm caused by a law. In the case of gay marriage opponents, that applies … um … never. As I’ve joked here before, gay marriage does no harm whatsoever to straight people other than directly offend what must be their smutty imaginations. That fallacy was again voiced relentlessly today as religious conservatives again said that allowing gays to freely marry somehow deprived them of freedom. I guess because the act contradicts what they believe, it is a form of mind control. I’m stretching there, but it’s hard to make sense out of such a brutally senseless argument.

But as glib as I’d like to be that questionable legal representation produced a happy effect, Emily Bazelon at Slate, among others, asks a fair question: Is it right that the will of California voters was subverted in this case because their state government refused to fight for a law they passed? Would our joy at seeing gay haters’ asses handed to them on an issue of standing be so funny if this were, say, a water pollution issue that our state refused to fight?

But I don’t wish to be ambiguous. I’m happy for the decision today, that five of the Supreme Court justices called the Defense of Marriage Act what it was–malice against a group of people. A law that disapproved of a class of people one state, New York, was trying to invest with some status and integrity.

You can, of course, read Justice Antonin Scalia’s whining dissent, filigreed with such thumb-sucking lines inveighing against the “black-robed supremacy” of a court gone out of control. It is more tired rhetoric about judicial activism, something Scalia, whose willingness to become activist in defense of conservative causes, ought to be too embarrassed to keep saying out loud by now.  Then there are predictable screeds by National Review editors who try to subvert the logic of tolerance by saying gay marriage proponents are somehow full of contempt. See what pretzel logic man Rich Lowry did there? I’m not the one hating the people I hate. It must be something they are doing. The people I hate must be causing it somehow.

That attitude was institutionalized by the DOMA. That attitude spawned a law of the land. That attitude was why the law came crashing down under its own weight.

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… Or maybe we can take the “quotes” off Obamacare now, a sneering portmanteau word used almost exclusively by detractors of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Now that the law has been upheld by the Supreme Court, perhaps the pejorative meaning will someday disappear, and posterity will be kinder to the word, a herald of a time when millions of people got health care insurance, and it will cease to be used as a horrible shibboleth by a certain kind of American breed who insist that suffering is the mandatory price of freedom.

At the very least, this morning, we have avoided the distasteful sight of watching a small number of partisans carry on in front of the world and actually cheer for the vulnerability and frailty of their fellow countrymen. “Let ’em die,” as Republican conventioneers like to yell at the uninsured, ought to be the standard for sneers, not “Obamacare.”

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Now why, you ask, may I be thanking God for a lot of hate mongers? For people inflicting harm to the parents of dead soldiers? For people who have spurned every belief system but their own, even the dogmas of other Christians, and other Baptists to boot? Why would I thank people who use other people’s suffering as a way to draw attention to themselves and their megalomaniac founder, a fame whore about one step removed from Mark David Chapman in his utter depravity? Why would I draw your attention to people who have distilled only the pure hatred of a distant Hebrew deity without any of the mitigating love that was supposed to emanate from his son? (I’m an atheist, but I’m just asking here.)

I’m not just pointing it out because it’s timely (the Supreme Court recently decided that these God-fearing Christians could harass the families of dead soldiers any damn time they please to show God’s condemnation of America for its tolerance of gays). I point this out because we hate a lot, America. We’re good at it. It’s in our blood. If we all weren’t such consummate haters, Sean Hannity would never have brought these lunatics on the air in the first place. We like watching the Westboro crazies on Fox News because we enjoy the spleen it allows us to vent. In fact, I would say, taking a leaf from George Orwell’s 1984, that our hatred has taken on a nightly, regimented format, replete with car commercials and steak with shallots. Hatred was built into the spiritually parsimonious Puritans that first landed on these fertile shores. It’s built into our discourse and our increasingly heated political rhetoric. When it is put into action, as it was in Arizona earlier this year, we are surprised and quick to blame anybody but ourselves. It wells up very easily in those who are inexpressive, who have no creative outlets, who have no way to show what they are feeling, except, say, with a lifestyle or a rigid political affiliation–a flag if you will–to say what they can’t work through logically.

It’s not that we don’t love. Humans love a lot. They love their children. They love Elmo. They love the Beatles. They love the hit show Glee. They love Mother Teresa (except for Christopher Hitchens). But what to do with the still abundant rage and violence that is stamped into our lowly monkey DNA?

I thank God for the Westboro Baptist Church because they remind us that there is perversity everywhere, not just in Kansas. These sociopaths show us all what we’re capable of if we live in insulated cults drowning out other people’s logic and reason (sound familiar, Fox News viewers?), and that’s why the First Amendment and Milton’s Aeropagitica before it encouraged a markeplace of ideas, true and false, side by side. We need to know exactly where the haters are and what they think. Because the fact is, there are a lot of people who mindlessly hate homosexuality, and these people won’t be swayed not even until they become consumed by their hatred and drop dead of myocardial infarction. We need to know who they are, because they aren’t merely people hiding in the shadows. They hold elected office and do violence on paper.

The Westboro sideshow wasn’t much of a concern to conservatives until the group started picketing military funerals. Do you see now, gay haters, what it means to be hated and hounded for no good reason? Do you realize that one of the darkest creatures of your id, Rick Santorum, is still running loose and considering a presidential bid, drawing political strength from that hatred. Do you not see how he and the Westboro crazies are not far removed from each other? Santorum may not get it all mixed up with the army somehow, but that’s a distinction with little difference.

Maybe you’ve seen the movie “The Aristocrats”? It’s a film about a tasteless joke that seems to have no reason for being other than to gross people out as its teller runs through a litany of a sick family’s sexual perversions. Why would somebody tell such a disgusting joke with no punchline that serves no purpose than making us sick? Because the sickness itself becomes funny after a while. And that’s what has happened with the media frenzy known as Westboro and Rev. Fred Phelps. I submit the joke that the Westboro Baptist Church has been playing on us: a perverted family act that has completely lost its sense of offensiveness and brought incest to a whole new level.

“… the Aristocrats!” yelled Rev. Fred Phelps, as America writhed in tears of laughter Friday realizing that the Westboro Baptist Church was only telling a joke the whole time.

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(Originally posted Sunday, October 26, 2008 )

San Francisco (API) — The onset of gay marriage in the United States has ruined the lives of straight people, say an overwhelming majority of struggling and rageful heterosexual married couples.

Since the legalization of gay marriage in states like California, Connecticut and Massachusetts, 95% of heterosexual couples say that they can no longer enjoy their married lives at all and are feeling despondent and depressed over it. Sixty-seven percent say food doesn’t taste as good; 55% say they no longer relate to their spouse; 23% no longer perceive different colors; 10% said they can’t touch animals or certain kinds of synthetic fabric; and an overwhelming 98% say that they no longer enjoy the act of sexual intercourse.

“Gay marriage has just ruined everything,” said Wayne Betancourt of Franklin, Mississippi. “I feel like we’re all just walking around in a state of waking death at my house. And I know my neighbors feel the same way. Marriage used to be sitting down to dinner with my wife and talking about our day. Now evidently it’s supposed to be some kind of trannie Wigstock Festival listening to Kylie Minogue. I’m just shattered.”

“The other night my husband was making love to me,” said Rachel Haddingfield. “And just as he was about to reach orgasm, he stopped and said, ‘I don’t know why I bother Rachel. I mean, in today’s gay world, I might as well be cornholing you instead.’ I knew that was the beginning of the end. We’re barely speaking now.”

Since gay marriages were first made legal in San Francisco several years ago, heterosexual couples claim that their interpersonal domestic lives have been directly impacted, marked by strained communication, emotional outbursts, food phobia, psoriasis, mange and worst of all, passive-aggressive behavior such as an unwillingness to speak or take out the garbage and pay bills.

“This is only a guess, but I’d say we’ve lost about $4 trillion in productivity because of this,” said gas station attendant Lance Bangs.

Since the Supreme Court a few years ago found what many scholars say is an implicit right of gays to marry, most heterosexuals say that their belief in the legitimacy of their own marriages has now been irretrievably shaken. The divorce rate among them is now 50%.

“Can you imagine?” says John McManus of the Pew research institute. “Fifty percent! That’s half of American married people whose lives have been ruined. All by a certain group of people, I won’t say which, who want to turn a Christian institution into La Cage aux Folles.”

“My son tried to commit suicide last week,” said Foster Harrigan, a truck driver in Olympia, Washington. He refused to elaborate.

Among the traumatic feelings heterosexuals have felt since the first reports of legal gay marriage are less attraction to their spouses; worries that they themselves or their children might be gay; an unsettled feeling that all marriage is no longer valid and their relationships are thus likely to dissolve in confusion; post-coital depression; post-nasal drip; bleeding ulcers; wild swings in the stock market; and wild anxiety about a new age of violent, gay frontier justice.

“I hope the gays are happy,” said Wayne Rangel, a postal employee from Osh Kosh, Wisconsin. “They are selfish, selfish people and now their selfishness has penetrated the most intimate, sacred areas of my life. I just can’t look at my wife the same way knowing that our well-founded, healthy red-blooded heterosexual love has been turned into a mockery, a joke and a sham. Evidently now, according to the U.S. Constitution I can’t be married now unless I’m willing to be fisted by a male stranger in a Berlin bathroom stall. Am I supposed to kneel somewhere? How does this work?”

Many voiced concern that with the likely surge in gay ceremonies being performed, they won’t even know how to be married anymore.

“I mean, when I come home, do I ask my wife for a foot rub and have a romantic dinner or am I supposed to dress up like Dorothy, lube up with KY and watch Melrose Place?” asked Glenn Davis from upstate California. “I mean, we’re sitting at home now looking at each other like we’ve completely lost the script. It’s just dead silence for hours. Is it me? Am I going crazy?”

“These are our lives!” insisted kindergarten teacher Grace McCutcheon of Terre Haute, Indiana. “Marriage is a sacred Christian institution. It’s not an episode of Wonder Woman. I don’t think the gays understand that.”

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