- Boycott the Knights of Columbus
- A wedding sermon.
- An open letter to my parish community.
- Why was a college student in the car of drunken Archbishop-elect Cordileone at 12:26 AM, when Cordileone was arrested for a DUI?
- When the Church married Same-Sex couples.
- How It All began
- The Supreme Court’s Decisions and the New Mason-Dixon Line
- What the Vatican & American bishops DO NOT want you (and Politicians) to know.
- The Morality of Sex, gay & straight.
- San Francisco in archbishop Cordileone’s sight
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Fighting for our lives!
WHAT IS HAPPENING?
This week Judge Vaughn Walker heard closing arguments in the California Proposition 8 trial. He is expected to rule in July either to overturn Prop 8 (this would allow Same Sex Marriage again in California), or to uphold Prop 8 (this would continue the ban that stripped Same Sex couples of their legal right to a Civil Marriage License). If the judge rules in favor of overturning the ban and restoring marriage equality, the proponents of Prop 8 will seek a stay of that order. Regardless of the ruling on Prop 8, the losing side will appeal the case to the Federal Ninth Circuit Court.
Regardless of how the Ninth Circuit Federal Court rules, the losing side will then appeal that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court may decide to hear the case, or not. If they decide not to hear the case, then the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Federal Court will be the rule of law in that jurisdiction. If the U.S. Supreme Court decides to hear the case (probably in 2012), then their ruling on Same Sex Marriage would become the law for the entire United States of America.
This presents both a great opportunity and a great risk for marriage equality. The Court’s famous ruling in Loving v. Virginia eliminated prohibition of inter-racial marriage instantly and gave force of law to equality. There would probably still be some jurisdictions, even today, where inter-racial marriage would be illegal. Following that precedent the Court represents a hope for any disenfranchised minority, since one of the functions of the judicial branch of government is to protect minorities and their rights against the tyranny of the majority.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court has at times issued infamous rulings which have been an affront against justice and in fact represented a legal enshrinement of injustice. One of the most infamous examples of this was the monstrous Dred Scott v. Sandford decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857. It was that grotesque injustice that prompted Abraham Lincoln to become radicalized in his opposition to the institution of slavery.
As the U.S. Supreme Court is currently constituted with a 5-4 membership that tends to vote in favor of conservative positions, bringing a social justice question before the Court represents a serious risk.
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
If you live in California the Election in November of this year will have a tremendous impact on Same Sex Marriage and Equality legislation. There are specifically two elected positions that are important to secure.
Governor of California. Vote for Jerry Brown (D) and donate (time, talent and money) to his election campaign. Presently, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has refused to defend Prop 8 in court Brown’s opponent Meg Whitman (R) supports the “Yes on Prop 8” side, she is in favor of bigoted and discriminatory laws aimed against Same Sex Marriage. She would use her authority as Governor to actively defend the “Yes on Prop 8” ballot decision using State funds and resources towards those bigoted ends.
Vote for Kamala Harris (D), who is running to be Attorney General – says that she, like Brown, would refuse to defend Prop 8 in court. However, her opponent, Steve Cooley said he would defend Prop 8 in court.
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is already gearing up for the election fight in November. It is imperative that those working for marriage equality and to defeat Prop 8 get into gear, too.
Regardless of who you are, or where you are, fight for justice. Speak to your family, your friends, your co-workers. We have made much progress towards full Civil Rights (including the right to a Civil Marriage License), but there is still much more work to be done.
Here is something to help you remember what this is all about. MILK