Today has been a great day for homomentum, as SCOTUS has struck down part of the United States’ Defense of (heteronormative) Marriage Act and overturned California’s Proposition 8.
The guts of the first decision striking down part of the DOMA was that the federal government is not allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation when it comes to providing the benefits of marriage. Proposition 8 was struck down on a technicality: standing.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has, in a 2–1 ruling, struck down California’s bigoted Proposition 8 (via). Hence, unless a stay is issued, same–sex couples will be able to marry in
the 9th circuit’s jurisdiction California again. Personally, I expect a stay to be issued and the appeals process to continue, hence I don’t think same–sex couples will be allowed to marry.
In the decision is granted the proponents of Prop 8 standing to defend, and it rejected the claim that the trial judge, Vaughn Walker, should have disqualified himself because he is gay. The striking down was the correct decision. And in reaction to the ruling, I expect the wingnut and homophobe types to freak out.
From the decision:
“Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California.”
Update: The actual ruling is an extremely narrow, California–specific ruling, and I have therefore corrected that error. Also, the Daily Dish has a mini–roundup of reactions.
As pretty much everyone knows by now, the United States had a general election yesterday. The Republican Party took the House of Representatives, but the Democrats retain the Senate, but with a smaller majority.
I don’t think the Republicans will really accomplish much of anything. They do not control the Senate and there is Obama’s veto power, so no significant agenda will be advanced. Basically, the likeliest results is basically a lot of keeping things the way they are. The GOP is not going to make a serious attempt at cutting government spending because they have no plans to do so. Their rhetoric on the matter is hollow because they always exempt the biggest financial black holes on the US budget. It’s easy to simply be against the government when out of power, but now that they control the purse strings they’ll have to do something. Nor do I think they will fail to increase the US’s debt ceiling. They might talk a lot about doing it but when the time comes to govern they’ll increase the ceiling rather than cause a default.
Several extremist Tea Party candidates lost. I’m especially glad that Christine O’Donnell lost. She and other lunatics probably kept the Senate in Democratic hands. It looks as if Sarah Palin’s chances of being the GOP presidential nominee in 2012 went down a bit, if she is serious about running. Her own chosen candidate could lose in her own state.
In other news, California unfortunately failed to legalize marijuana and Iowa had its pro–marriage equality judges thrown out. But at least California moved closer to getting rid of gerrymandering.
United States Federal Judge Vaughn Walker has struck down California’s Proposition 8, restoring marriage equality to California. It is the correct decision and currently stayed, although it will undoubtedly be appealed.
Be on the alert for wingnut and homobigot freakouts, as they obsess over how people they don’t even know, have nothing to do with, never interact with, and that they aren’t remotely affected by, now have more of the rights everyone else has.
The sexophobes have struck again. Via Shakesville comes news that a school in Menifee, California has banned a dictionary. Why? Because it contains a definition of the word “oral sex”.
Anonymous parent who made this ridiculous complaint: it’s a fucking dictionary, not a how–to manual. You does not need to be a linguist to realize that the definition of an act is not the same thing as instructions about how to do an act. For example, telling someone what driving is (operating an automobile) is not the same thing as telling them how to drive (too long to put here).
On the other hand, perhaps the school should ban other “obscene” books. One such book would be the Bible, from whose Song of Solomon God is left out, while still finding room to have the whole book be a love poem that contains explicit eroticism. After all, if someone is absolutely unable to talk to their kid(s) about something sexual in a dictionary, they can’t possibly be able to do the same thing to their kid(s) when something sexual comes up in the Bible, right?
In the wake of the assassination of American President Lincoln, a rather crude joke was told: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?” This joke is committing the fallacy known as the overwhelming exception, where definitely relevant factors (in this example, her husband’s assassination) are ignored.
This sort of thing happened recently (via Feministing):
On Saturday, October 24, at a school dance in California, a fifteen-year old student was brutally beaten, robbed, and gang raped for two and a half hours. At least twenty people were involved, and some were joined in and encouraged it to continue. A few filmed the event with their cell phones. All this happened about half an hour after the security guards were released.
A spokesman for the school district, world-class asshole Marin Trujillo, said afterwards (emphasis added): “[The d]ance was successful event and safe for the students that were there. This dance itself was a successful event.”
Marin Trujillo, FUCK YOU.
Also, I think that the bystanders had a moral obligation to intervene. Doing nothing shows the negative character traits of cowardice (because they could have put themselves in to help someone but didn’t), maleficence (because they were allowing something bad to happen), and others. Had some bystander called for help they would have shown beneficence (because they were taking steps to end an evil act) and had they intervened personally they would also have shown valour (since they were putting themselves at risk to help someone else). Since it is unquestionably better to be brave and beneficent than cowardly and maleficent, by not intervening the bystanders did an immoral act.
It wasn’t what I wanted, but the ruling went as pretty much everyone expected. Considering the circumstances, I suppose it is the best possible outcome. Proposition 8 is legal, but the marriages performed beforehand are allowed to stand.