Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Prop 8 Oral Arguments Heard

On Monday, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger (aka, The Prop 8 Case).

I haven't have a chance to watch the arguments yet, which were televised this time, but I did peruse the anti-gay Amicus Briefs that were filed. Mostly, it's more of the same shit, different day. Which, naturally, means that when taken together, the anti-gay arguments can be somewhat entertaining (the following referenced briefs can be found at the link above):

Margie Reilly, a private citizen, told the Court that she loves her "Non-Breeder brothers and sisters in society," she just thinks granting them marriage rights would "destroy the deepest substratum of the social structure." I guess I missed the to-do item on the Homosexual Agenda where I was supposed to get a hysterectomy, because last I checked, I am still capable of breeding.

Anyway, despite this gay ability to destroy substratums and so forth, Paul McHugh, a psychiatrist known for being anti-trans, told the court that homosexuality is so amorphous that gays don't actually exist as a class.

But then, on the other hand, Concerned Women for America chimed in to tell the Court that, well actually, gays have incredible political power and so discriminatory laws against them are okay.

Despite this Incredible Power Of The Gay, the American Civil Rights Union then informed the Court that gazillions of states, courts, and voting citizens have been reluctant to view same-sex marriage as a fundamental right or to grant equal marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Okay, I think I get it. Homosexuality is so amorphous a characteristic that anti-gay laws don't actually discriminate against anyone, but it's also so substantive a characteristic that it's composed of people who are Very Powerful and Influential who aren't influential or powerful enough to influence majorities that they deserve equal rights?

Glad that's all settled.

The Catholics for the Common Good also explained that "marriage is a preexisting reality, not a societal construct," an opinion that makes it interesting that this organization felt the need to involve itself in court at all then. If marriage exists in nature like, say, a flower or a tree, then no court opinion, human definition, or proposition can change that, right?

I mean, with respect to that oft-used "marriage is a preexisting reality" argument, isn't the big question how do we recognize a marriage when we see it if it's not marked by a license or a ceremony? Is a "natural" marriage a man and a woman who live together and have sex? Do they have to have had children? What if a person has children with more than one partner- is that person "naturally" married to more than one person? Given that this Catholic group made a statement claiming that marriage is an objective thing in reality that isn't a social construct, do they have special equipment that can detect the presence of marriage in the absence of any of the social markers humans have used to indicate marriage? Inquiring minds want to know.

More to the point, I guess they missed the memo stating that the issue is not "What do some Christians think marriage is?" but "Does a ban on legal same-sex marriage violate the US Constitution?"

Anyway, I know many of these anti-gay arguments are silly, especially when taken together, but there are a couple of briefs I would like to address more seriously, especially from a feminist perspective, in the next couple of days.

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