Before we get ahead of ourselves celebrating news that the Supreme Court will hear cases on DOMA and Proposition 8, remember that a ruling against equality could be a blow to all the progress that's brought the movement this far.
The New York Times makes that quite clear in an article called "Worry Tempers Joy Over Gay Marriage’s Moment in Court."
An excerpt from the sobering piece:
The fact that the Supreme Court is hearing the cases hardly means it is about to ratify same-sex marriage. As supporters and opponents said in interviews, the court might well use these cases to find that there is no constitutional protection for same-sex marriage.
“There is no question that it is a risk,” said Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California. “If they nationalize it and reject it, that’s going to take decades to come back to the court.”
Jubilation was tempered with apprehension as the implications of the decision were discussed across the country.
“That the Supreme Court is taking this up is truly exhilarating, but I’m very nervous and unnerved by the possibilities of what could come out of this,” said Don Romesburg, 42, an associate professor of women and gender studies at Sonoma State University.
“It is frightening to have our basic rights as citizens in the hands of just nine people, when four or five of them are deeply ambivalent, at best, about our very existence..."
No matter how you're feeling about SCOTUS and marriage equality now, it's bound to change: we still have at least three months before arguments are heard and then another three or so for a decision, meaning that we can all look forward to about six months of frown wrinkles and worry warts. But, hey, nobody said equality would be pretty.
Conan O'Brien is more than just a funny face hosting a nighttime television show. He's also a person with a brain who likes to talk with other people who also have brains, which is why O'Brien hosts "serious jibber jabber" sessions with some of the world's most brain-having people.
The latest edition features Nate Silver, the gay statistician who has already called every election for the next 1,000 years. Yes, even the intergalactic races. (Kimara Cretak is a lock for Romulan Senator.) But don't worry, Silver still has plenty to talk about, like his new book, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't.
Watch O'Brien and Silver's entire 49:54 minute conversation AFTER THE JUMP, because being a brainiac is sexy.
Celebrate some totally radical 90s holiday movies.
Anti-apartheid leader and former South African President Nelson Mandela, 94, has been hospitalized. "Former President Mandela will receive medical attention from time to time which is consistent with his age," read a statement from current President Jacob Zuma's office.
HRC leaders past and present discuss SCOTUS' decision to hear two gay marriage cases.
The Supreme Court's decision to hear two gay marriage cases puts more pressure on President Obama to spell out his own opinion on the matter: should this be a federal matter or, as he said before, simply left to the states? From Josh Gerstein: "When Obama announced in May that he favored same-sex marriage ... his nuanced language stopped well short of endorsing the idea that the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to marry for same-sex couples. He said the issue was best left to the states to decide in the near term."
The New York Times' editorial board on SCOTUS: "Fifty-eight years after it banned discrimination in public education, the Supreme Court has set the stage for the defining civil rights decision of this era — agreeing to hear two cases challenging laws that define marriage to exclude couples of the same sex. To us, and a growing number of Americans, the right course seems clear: that the justices continue the march toward real equality."
Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is appalled by MTV's new reality show, Buckwild. The show, which he calls a "travesty," "plays to ugly, inaccurate stereotypes about the people of West Virginia."
Lindsay Lohan gets what she wants.
Rihanna loses her undies.
If this weave could talk.
Dustin Hoffman play-kissed One Direction member Niall Horan last night.
Officials at the University of Saskatchewan sent a campus-wide note this week giving students and staff a heads up about an anti-gay pamphleteer wandering around town. "U of S officials sent out the advisory to the campus community Thursday morning after receiving complaints that day about a man distributing a leaflet titled Say No to the Homosexual Agenda. The advisory encouraged staff and students to contact the U of S discrimination and harassment prevention services if they were concerned about the material."
Almost 200 UN member countries voted today on an extension of the Kyoto Accord to combat global warming. "The extension was adopted by a U.N. climate conference after hard-fought sessions and despite objections from Russia. The package of decisions also included vague promises of financing to help poor countries cope with climate change, and an affirmation of a previous decision to adopt a new global climate pact by 2015." The United States never signed onto the Accord.
Despite the fact that scandal-plagued, tax-evading Silvio Berlusconi resigned as Italy's premier last year, he's still going to make another run for the office.
Jonathan Adler draws inspiration from his mother and the coffee cup chandelier she made and hung in their home when he was a kid.
Congratulations to Liz Carmouche, the UFC's first openly gay fighter.
Liberal lawmakers in Trinidad and Tobago are hoping to extend anti-discrimination laws to gays and lesbians.
Posted Dec. 8,2012 at 3:23 PM EST by Andrew Belonsky in Canada, Discrimination, Gay Marriage, Global Warming, Human Rights Campaign, Italy, Jonathan Adler, Lindsay Lohan, Nelson Mandela, News, Silvio Berlusconi, Supreme Court, Trinidad and Tobago | Permalink | Comments (4)
Filling in for Rachel Maddow last night, guest host Ezra Klein chatted with NYU constitutional law professor Kenji Yoshino about whether the Supreme Court, preparing to hear cases on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans, is swayed by public opinion. Will they consider in their decision the fact that more Americans than ever support marriage equality? And how does this case compare to Loving v. Virginia?
Meanwhile, over at The New Yorker, Richard Socarides also reflects on how far the nation has come on this nagging issue, and recalls the atmosphere at the White House after Bill Clinton signed the so-called Defense of Marriage Act that seems poised for deconstruction.
"I was on Bill Clinton’s White House staff when he signed DOMA, and it was a solemn, grave atmosphere in the building that day—but it was what the Administration felt the country demanded," Socarides writes. "Clinton has since said that he regrets signing the law, and he has endorsed its repeal and fought for the rights of same-sex couples. I’m sure that no one will be more relieved than he if and when the law is declared unconstitutional."
The New York Times points out that Windsor v. United States, a Supreme Court decision on which could once and for all resolve the debate over the federal definition of marriage, will feature a rematch between pro-DOMA lawyer Paul D. Clement and Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. The men faced off during this year's health care case, as well, and their reunion before the court will be almost exactly a year since that historic face-off.
Speaking of Windsor, the woman for whom the case is named, Edie Windsor (pictured, right, with late wife Thea Spyer), told the Times she's "thrilled" the Justices are considering her case. She also said she's confident marriage bans will be overturned at some point. "If it doesn't happen our year, it will happen in other years. I'm sure of that."
Asked by Huffington Post's Lila Shapiro how she finds the energy to keep up the fight, 83-year old Windsor says her tenacity comes from being the baby of her family. "I'm the youngest in my family and the littlest one always gets pushed around a lot, so I'm strong," she said.
Watch video of Klein and Yoshino's remarks on public opinion and the Supreme Court AFTER THE JUMP. And if you click here, you can watch USA Today's interview with Windsor, who says she sees her lawsuit as less of a legal process and more of a "joyous" event.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was asked last night about a spate of anti-gay laws in Russia, including the "gay propaganda" fines enacted in St. Petersburg, where Lady Gaga is performing this evening. Such laws are unnecessary, he said.
"Not all moral issues, behavioral habits and inter-personal communication patterns have to become legislatures," said the prime minister. "Because not all relationships have to be legislatively regulated."
Pleased by the PM's stand against his conservative allies, Lady Gaga tweeted him some love, "Thank You Prime Minister Medvedev for not standing by your party's anti gay propaganda law & instead supporting my show+fans all over Russia." Madonna of course flouted St. Petersburg's draconian edict, which led to fines, a failed $10 million lawsuit and a warning from the State Department.
Jonathan Pearce faced anti-gay hate twice last week.
First, the Canadian man posted on Facebook that he was headed to Memorial University's Grenfell Campus and, after completing his work, found his pick-up truck had been egged in the parking lot. Then, on Thursday, someone spray-painted "#1 faggot" on the passenger side and back of the car, CBC reports.
"I didn't think that anybody would ever follow me anywhere to do something like that," Pearce said of the initial incident. "I just passed it off as as random act."
He now thinks differently, but has no idea who would harass him. Nor do police: they have no leads in the case.