More Upbeat

A federal judge has declared California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional. As I understand it, thie ruling found that all same-sex marriages performed in the state before Prop 8 have been ruled to be valid.

From LA Times:

Both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa praised the judge’s decision. “Because a judge had the courage to stand up for the constitution of the United States, prop 8 has been overturned!” the mayor wrote on Twitter.

This ruling will be challenged, of course, so this saga isn’t over. But today we can enjoy some good news.

The other bit of cheerful news also is from California. Demonstrations against construction of a mosque (a real mosque, this time) in Temecula, California, experienced epic fail. The plan was to show up at the Muslim community’s current place of worship with many dogs, on the theory that Muslims hate dogs. I understand that dogs are considered ritually unclean in some schools of Islam, but that’s not my area of expertise, so … whatever.

Anyway, more counter-protesters than protesters showed up, and there was only one dog. Many of the counter-protesters were from area churches, and they carried signs saying “Leave These American Citizens Alone.” Read about it at TPM.

10 thoughts on “More Upbeat

  1. That pesky 14th Amendment keeps showing up to dash the efforts of our conservative brethren.

  2. On dogs…

    My Arabic teacher explained that, when he grew up, dogs were ‘outside’ pets: not allowed inside the main house. But they still guarded the house, and were loved.

    If that sounds cruel… my dogs (Dalmatians) were exactly the same when I grew up. And we adored our dogs!

  3. In some parts of the middle east, dogs are seen (and even preached ) as unclean animals, but once you get out of the sticks and into the major cities, most seem to be fine with them. The differences between how the people feel in rural areas versus larger cities is much like it is in the U.S.

    In other words, Muslims have rednecks too.

  4. The right is saying that the judge is biased because he’s gay. Uhm, mightened a heterosexual judge have ruled against gay marriage because of bias in the past?
    Onto the SCOTUS.
    Since heterosexuals aren’t incorporated, at least not that I know of, gays may have a chance at a favorable decision.

  5. I found it very disturbing in ’08 that one of my favorite states had passed such a mean-spirited proposition to begin with. My guess is that mostly the “haters” got all the way down to the last page of the ballot. Glad to see the judiciary exercised it common sense!

  6. I’m starting to think another spy-type exchange is in order… Arnold Schwarzenegger for Ben Nelson.

  7. My mother and mother-in-law both grew up on farms back in the 1920s and the dogs were not allowed in their houses. I don’t think it sounds cruel. My mother, in fact, much preferred that dogs be allowed to grow up on farms where they can roam free and widely rather than cooped up in houses.

    Regarding the mosque, I wish the area churches had shown up with signs saying “Fellow Human Beings” or some such rather than “American Citizens”, but I guess that latter would have more impact on the target audience. The whole bit of the rights of Americans versus non-Americans reminds me of St. Paul demanding a trial because he was a Roman citizen; but for the luck of birth, he could have been executed on the spot.

  8. @ Theo :

    You have a point, in that most of the fundamental rights apply equally to non-citizens and even non-resident persons in the United States. There were clear and intentional decisions made in the early writing of the Bill of Rights to not use the word citizen, and for good reason. Our best founders wanted to avoid sectarianism and needless division. Unfortunately, some of the other founders just happened to hail from states where the economy was based on slavery, and so we didn’t quite manage to work that one out for a long while.

    Another big issue that some fail to understand is that the Constitution applies everywhere where the U.S. has legitimate authority. That includes all of our military bases, embassies, and other international outposts. Meaning that the words…

    “nor shall any person … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”


    “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

    Do mean something in the context of Guantanamo Bay, Abu Gharaib, or Bagram.

    Many self-proclaimed conservatives like to point out that the sub-clause of the 2nd amendment does not indicate a restriction but a clarification. How often do you see them take a close look at the 5th and 8th amendments? The 5th amendment has a clause which allows for capital or infamous crime indictments of persons in cases “arising in the land or naval forces, or the Militia, when in actual service in time or War or public danger”. That clause, however, is an exception to the preceding text and doesn’t apply to that which follows. Meaning that depriving anyone of “life, liberty, or property without due process of law” is unconstitutional. Regardless of justification, regardless of the current state of war or public danger. There is no exception.

    Similarly, the 8th amendment specifies clearly that “cruel and unusual punishments” shall not be inflicted. There are no exemptions, no exceptions to this! It does not matter whether the person in question is a citizen, resident, alien, foreign combatant, terrorist, or genocidal dictator. I, for one, certainly think that torture qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment, and would hope that the vast majority could agree with this. Therefore, torture shall not be inflicted, and contravening this is violating the Constitution. QED.

  9. On forums the righties are wetting their pants with outrage – the bible thumpers – and the non-relious wingnuts find the phrase ‘equal protection’ quite incomprehensible. I mean they seriously can’t get it.

    Much of the problem stems from not agreeing what ‘married’ means. Personally, I am fine with anyone forming their own opinion, and hopefully marrying someone with the same outlook. That’s the religous, social and ethical aspects of ‘married’.

    But the license from the gub’mint carries with it a set of rights and obligations that have been denied to gays. On that secular aspect of being ‘marrried’, the judge said that the supporters of Prop 8 failed to show any rational reason to continue the ban which violated ‘equal protection’ and tradition was nowhere near enough reason.

    On the issue of sex, procration, offspring.. I knew a man, family friend, who was a parapalegic and got married after the injury which crippled him from the waist down. Given that he was unable to produce offspring, they adopted. Was this a ‘marriage’ if normal heterosexual joining was impossible? Different example: What if later in a marriage, coitis is not possible? Does that nullify the marriage? What if testing shows she can’t conceive? If sex with the prospect of offspring is incidental to marriage – and it is – then the crux of marriage is the commitment of two people to each other. This is possible for ANY two people and the legal status of a license should not be limited.

  10. @Doug Hughes :

    It’s implicit, I think, in the religious conservatives viewpoint that marriage is a means for reproduction. Not merely children in the most literal sense, but the propagation of the religion and cultural norms as well. They rarely admit this, even though without such a premise many of their views make no sense at all.

    The reason why they don’t go after hetero marriages where reproduction is impossible, very implausible, or undesired is that it would create needless antagonism and backlash for little gain. This gay marriage issue comes to the forefront so readily because it is a much more direct threat to their ability to spread a set of fixed messages. For the obvious part, it directly contravenes some fairly explicit anti-gay messages in the Bible. (Though the Bible, being an imperfect book written by human beings, contradicts itself on regular occasion.) The less obvious part is that it undermines the degree to which the typical role of women can be maintained in the society. If some men seek men instead, and some women seek other women, the narrow traditional patriarchal family starts to lose its force. The examples of successful gay relationships undermine its necessity toward leading a happy and fulfilled life. That is very threatening to the ability to recruit new people into narrow religious tenets.

    There is some similarity to how the Catholic Church’s views on contraception, abortion, women in the hierarchy, child molestation, and so forth have caused a non-trivial number of people to leave or avoid the faith altogether.

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