The Right Wing Reacts to the Overturning of Prop 8

Many of my fellow conservatives have an almost knee-jerk hostility toward gay marriage. This does not make sense, because same-sex unions promote the values conservatives prize. Marriage is one of the basic building blocks of our neighborhoods and our nation. At its best, it is a stable bond between two individuals who work to create a loving household and a social and economic partnership. We encourage couples to marry because the commitments they make to one another provide benefits not only to themselves but also to their families and communities. Marriage requires thinking beyond one's own needs. It transforms two individuals into a union based on shared aspirations, and in doing so establishes a formal investment in the well-being of society. The fact that individuals who happen to be gay want to share in this vital social institution is evidence that conservative ideals enjoy widespread acceptance. Conservatives should celebrate this, rather than lament it.

Theodore Olsen's wrote his heartfelt and moving op-ed making the Conservative Case for Gay Marriage earlier this year as he was preparing along with David Boies to argue the case against the California ban on gay marriage that had been approved by the voters with the passage of Proposition 8. The op-ed is, of course, a testament that many conservatives do recognize the gross injustice against gays and lesbians in denying them the civil right to marriage. As Mr. Olsen noted then "legalizing same-sex marriage would also be a recognition of basic American principles, and would represent the culmination of our nation's commitment to equal rights." Unfortunately, a large number on the right still do not yet concur with that view.

With US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker's historic ruling in the Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al that the ban on gay marriage violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, it's clear that very few conservatives are celebrating the landmark decision and many are doing much more than just lamenting it. The right's reaction has ranged from incredulity and disbelief to anger and outright hate peppered with the obligatory doses about judicial tyranny.

Randy Thomasson, the head of the Campaign for Children and Families and of an outfit called Save California, blasted Judge Walker for having "trampled the written Constitution, grossly misused his authority and imposed his own agenda, which the Constitution does not allow" in a statement. 

Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, compared the decision to Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion. "This lawsuit, should it be upheld on appeal and in the Supreme Court, would become the 'Roe v. Wade' of same-sex 'marriage,' " said Perkins. Perkins feared the ruling would overturn marriage bans adopted by dozens of states if it is upheld, a sentiment echoed by others on the religious right.

Perkins told CNN that he will work to make the ruling an issue in this Fall's midterm elections. "This is the age of the Tea Party, where you have people saying government is not listening," Perkins told CNN. "And here you have a judge saying seven million people (who supported California's Proposition 8 ) don't matter."

Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), who is out on his cross country bus tour in the defense of traditional marriage was incredulous and left gasping for words until it came time to beg for more money in order to fight the appeal.

Maggie Gallagher, president of the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and a columnist for various conservative publications, called the decision "outrageous" and "an extraordinary moment." Gallagher told right wing radio talk show host Lars Larson, "here you have an openly gay judge, you can read the Constitution and you cannot find in it any endorsement  of the idea, our Founding Fathers created no rights to gay marriage." She added that the decision was "intellectually absurd" and that "what we're seeing is an outrageous exercise in judicial tyranny." She noted that the decision "will mean that gay marriage advocates will use our Constitution to impose gay marriage on all of us whether we like it or not" — a somewhat ironic choice of words echoing San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's prophesy several years back.

Pastor Jim Garlow, the pastor at mega-church Skyline Church in San Diego, said congregations across the nation would fast and pray for the ban to be restored. He and his congregants played a crucial role in collecting the more than 600,000 signatures required to get Proposition 8 on the ballot in 2008.

He called Wednesday's ruling an affront to Christianity — and the Constitution.

"Apparently the judge did not read the opening words of the Constitution. It says, 'We the people.' The state has voted on this twice, and along comes one judge who feels he has the right to disregard that," Garlow said.

Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries upped the rhetoric a few notches: Judge Walker has “contempt for the rule of law” and is part of “the criminalization of not only Christianity but of the foundational values of civilization itself.”

For its part, the Mormon Church, one the main financial backers of Proposition 8, issued a more circumspect and rather short statement:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regrets today’s decision. California voters have twice been given the opportunity to vote on the definition of marriage in their state and both times have determined that marriage should be recognized as only between a man and a woman. We agree. Marriage between a man and a woman is the bedrock of society.

“We recognize that this decision represents only the opening of a vigorous debate in the courts over the rights of the people to define and protect this most fundamental institution—marriage.

“There is no doubt that today’s ruling will add to the marriage debate in this country, and we urge people on all sides of this issue to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility toward those with a different opinion.”

Less circumspect and more rabid were the right wing bloggers. Chuck Donovan of the right wing Heritage Foundation called the decision "an example of extreme judicial activism" and "an affront to the millions of California voters who approved Proposition 8 in 2008" before adding that "judicial tyranny on the question of marriage must not be allowed to succeed."

John Hinderaker of Powerline must have been hyperventilating when he wrote this:

Conservatives have long said that the day would come when liberal judges declare the Constitution unconstitutional. That happened today, when a gay federal judge in San Francisco, relying on the opinions of mostly-gay "expert" witnesses, ruled that an amendment to the California constitution, which was adopted in perfectly proper fashion by a substantial majority of voters, is "unconstitutional." In this context, unconstitutional means "unpopular with me and my friends."

As a legal matter, Judge Walker's decision is a bad joke. It will be appealed, of course, but the outcome of the appeal will be determined by politics, not law. I think it is safe to assume that anyone nominated to the Supreme Court by a Democratic President is explicitly or implicitly committed to the proposition that gay marriage is a constitutional right. If you think that is bizarre, stop voting for Democratic politicians.

But it is reading the conservative grassroots bulletin board Free Republic reveals the intensity of hate that many conservatives harbour towards gays and lesbians.

There is only one way to solve the homosexual problem.

2 posted on August 4, 2010 3:10:15 PM PDT by Yosemitest (It's simple, fight or die.)

The link is to Leviticus 20:13 which reads "13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death ; their blood shall be upon them."

Right wing Christians are such loving creatures, aren't they?

Others are seemingly advocating for insurrection.

Had enough?

“The principle for which we contend is bound to reassert itself, though it may be at another time and in another form.”

Jefferson Davis

4 posted on August 4, 2010 3:15:58 PM PDT by Lonely Are The Brave

How anyone can quote an odious man like Jefferson Davis is beyond me but such is the dementia of the rabid right.


Tags: Proposition 8, religious right, right wing extremism, LGBT Issues (all tags)


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