Victory in Incriments

the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has found Proposition 8 unconstitutional:

Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California,” the court said.

The ruling upheld a decision by retired Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker, who struck down the ballot measure in 2010 after holding an unprecedented trial on the nature of sexual orientation and the history of marriage.

This is great news. Every judge whose heard this case has made the same call. The Prop 8 bigots can appeal, but the next court up the line is the Supreme Court, and they are very unlikely to overturn a previous ruling, even if the SC is chock full of hypocrites and cretins.

What’s more, this ruling sets up a precedent that could overturn all the other state bans on gay marriage. The US might finally be able to show it’s head in polite society.

Link Via Mayor Sam Adams on Twitter.

California May Not Sink Into the Sea After All!

As Rogers put it, if you want to live in the 21 C, stand over here:

A federal judge in San Francisco decided today that gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, striking down Proposition 8, the voter approved ballot measure that banned same-sex unions.

U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker said Proposition 8, passed by voters in November 2008, violated the federal constitutional rights of gays and lesbians to marry the partners of their choice. His ruling is expected to be appealed to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and then up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

This is going to be a popcorn muncher, to be sure. If SCOTUS punt and let the circuit court ruling stand, they get called activist judges by their right wing handlers from now until doomsday. Same if they hear the case and let the ruling stand. If they overturn it, they’ll have a hell of a time writing that decision in English that hasn’t been sent through the GTMO ringer.

Good on ya, California! Now: get rid of Schwarzenegger and start paying your librarians again. Chop chop!

I know I Am But What Are You?

So, the aide to Rep Coburn (R- Flatland) stands up in front of a group of yahoos at the Values Voter Summit (a sort of swap meet for creationists and Birthers) and tells them that, “All pornography is homosexual pornography, because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards.”

The argument, as near as I can translate it from crazy talk, is that porn makes you feel all tingly in your naughty parts and then you touch yourself and since it’s you touching the same sex (being yo) your gay! Hay, presto. I’ll just let Coburn’s chief of staff, Michael Schwartz tell it:

Schwartz then explained the side benefit of this finding—that if boys know pornography will make them gay, they’ll never touch it, taking advantage of what Schwartz sees as a natural homophobia. “And if you tell an 11-year-old boy about that, do you think he’s going to want to get a copy of Playboy?” he said. “I’m pretty sure he’ll lose interest. That’s the last thing he wants!”

Let that little knot of pretzel logic just unwind itself for a few moments. Because, for those of us still clinging to a thin sliver of sanity, there’s only one way to read this statement: that Schwartz is living inside the most transparent of closets. How do we know his? Because he’s a Republican. They only get this vocal about their pet subjects when they get under their skin. Ranting about the pure and righteous homophobia of 11 year old boys is just him trying really, really hard to keep that closet door shut good and tight.

Come 2012, the Republican platform will consist soley of saying, “I know you are but what am I?!”over and over.

What Books Would Jesus Burn?

Guardian UK:

In a scene which appears to have been lifted straight out of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, a group of Christians in Wisconsin has launched a legal claim demanding the right to publicly burn a copy of a book for teenagers which they deem to be “explicitly vulgar, racial [sic], and anti-Christian”.

The offending book is Francesca Lia Block’s Baby Be-Bop, a young adult novel in which a boy, struggling with his homosexuality, is beaten up by a homophobic gang. The complaint, which according to the American Library Association also demands $120,000 (£72,000) in compensatory damages for being exposed to the book in a display at West Bend Community Memorial Library, was lodged by four men from the Christian Civil Liberties Union.

Because if history has taught us anything, it’s that burning books works, suing for the right, doubly so. Also, it never, ever makes them more popular.

I haven’t read Baby Be-Bop, but I did recently read Weetzie Bat, the first book in the same series. It’s a beautiful story, about people (some of them gay!) looking for love and acceptance, a topic I know really rankles Christians. I think it was in the Gospel of John where Jesus said, “Fuck all those pansy-ass fagots, they’ll burn for wanting to be loved like a real person.”

Link via @neilhimself

New Hampshire Legalizes Gay Marriage!

And for real, not like California’s implicit, we’ll-have-to-go-the-whole-way-eventually-but-not-today kinda way. New Hampshire did it right and just laid it all out there, joining such bastions of saniy and modern living as Ohio Iowa* and the Sims 3 game. That’s right, an RPG has better civil rights than 9/10 of the the USA. Welcome to the 21st century. It’s a lot stranger than we were promised.

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*As Noz pointed out in coments, I had the wrong agrarian state in the middle of nowhere. But I’m sure Ohio will come to their senses soon, too.

4/5 of Freedom Is Not Enough

Last night, we went 4/5 of the way to getting back on track as a country. We elected a Democratic President (who has received more votes than any president before him) and several Democratic congress folk and governors.

But we lost on Prop 8. The Homobigot amendment to the California constitution passed by a slim margin. So, yeah. We got 4/5 of what we wanted. Not bad. But it could have been better.

What happens next is not going to be easy or fun but it might just turn out better. The thing is, there already are thousands of married same-sex couples in California. California now has 2 choices: 1) recognize them, thus undermining the new law  or 2) annul all those marriages.

The first option will effectively create a loophole for gay marriage, and the fundies and homobigots won’t let that stand. They’re already scared that they are loosing the culture war, which is why they came up with Prop 8 in the first place. Society is already starting to accept same sex couples as equals. Prop 8 and other attempts are the Hail Mary pass and the suicide charge. They are doomed to fail, eventually. We were hoping to shoot down prop 8 last night and force the homobigits to slouch home, whimpering in defeat. Now they have a slight glimmer of false hope.[1]

The second option will bring discrimination law suits. Big ones. Degeneres vs. California. The fundies don’t want this matter to go tot he Supreme Court, since there are already decisions on the books that will undermine their cause and show them for the hateful troglodytes they are. Loving vs. Virginia is a clear cut example. Just replace the parts about miscegenation with homosexuality. And since Lawrence vs. Texas decriminalized sodomy, nothing a same-sex couple does is illegal.

Now of course, if the matte goes to the Supreme Court, there’s the matter of the conservative judges. But these same conservative judges were the ones who stuck their fingers in fundie’s eyes over Lawrence, which is one of the many reasons they don’t like “Activist Judges.”[2] The fundies know they will loose if this fight gets to the Court. And that’s even without factoring in the minimum of two new Justices Obama will have appointed by then.

So, loosing on Prop 8 is not the end of the world or the fight for same-sex rights. Just a minor set back.

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1. but that’s OK, too. When some fundie, homobigot or Mormon starts gloating about winning Prop 8, just remind them that we elected a scary black Muslim socialist Antichrist for President.

2. You know, judges who follow the constitution, rather then the fundie interpreted Bible. Liberals! Liberal here meaning “sane,” as it usually does in wackaloon speak.