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Supreme Court's Gay Nup Move Guarantees Six Months Of Worry

US-Supreme-Court-at-NightBefore 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.

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  1. Of course we are worried !
    There's "no freedom without Equality"....(thank you Macklemore !)

    i would dearly wish for a favourable outcome to the DOMA and Prop 8 cases......it seems absurd that such fundamental rights to equality should be subject to the vagaries of ideologues such as Scalia, Alito and Thomas.....they will vote against anything that smells of equality for gays.....after all, their Catholic Church has already told them we are "defective".....and Alito and Scalia are so Italian/Catholic.

    But we believe that we are not "defective"...we believe in our Civil Rights to equal treatment before the Law...if these cases go against us there will be an extreme backlash from the Right, they will feel vindicated in all their self righteous bigotry and violence against gays will increase exponentially.

    But we will not take any such decision lying down.......Martin Luther King knew that the struggle can be long; Nationalists in Northern Ireland had to march and demonstrate to get the vote in Local elections as recently as 1972.......and we are criminalised in so many countries...Russia, Uganda, Iran.....

    But a decision against us would last for a generation; I will certainly be dead before being allowed Marriage Equality, before being allowed to live with my BF in the same contractual relationship as my neighbours.
    If this goes against us, our backlash should be cataclysmic, our demonstrations should be frequent and enormous,our demands of politicians should be non stop.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 9, 2012 6:00:54 AM


  2. @ ICEBLOO:

    Yes, that's exactly what I'm talking about.
    Homo Non nationals will not have the same rights as Straight Non nationals under USA law.

    A straight non-national can continue to live in the USA with his/her spouse; a homo non-national is deported.
    Where is the equal treatment before the law?

    The absurd thing is that even if that Homo Couple validly married in the Netherlands, and returned to the USA, the homo non-National will still be deported because the USA spits in the face of a valid marriage under Netherlands Law.
    But that same couple would be allowed to live in the Netherlands, the USA guy would have a right to reside there under Netherlands Law........the very thing the USA denies to us homos. So Netherlands Law allows a validly married homo couple to reside in the Netherlands, where ever the valid marriage was held.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 9, 2012 6:14:21 AM


  3. @BZ
    With Scalia you can have the best legal argument in the universe. He will ignore it and decide whatever he wants. Then Alito (aka Scalito) will do the same.

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 9, 2012 7:21:10 AM


  4. Steve makes a good point. Neither Scalia or Alito will want one of their last big decision legacies to be in favor of anything gay, regardless of constitutionality. They're just that kind of guys and don't want any gay juice tainting their good names.

    At the end of the day, they're deciding on something that affects (at best) 14 percent of the population and that may not play in our favor, given that 30 states already have mini-DOMAs in place. I predict a 5-4 vote in favor, no matter what.

    But I also love the idea of putting the positive energy out there into the universe, as Jeeze suggests. It can't hurt, right?

    Imagine it: A federally protected marriage law for EVERYONE.

    Now, just keep imagining it, over and over and over and over and over...

    Posted by: johnny | Dec 9, 2012 7:46:44 AM


  5. In paragraph 2, I mean Scalia and Alito, not the entire SP.

    Posted by: johnny | Dec 9, 2012 7:48:13 AM


  6. I have learned only a few things;

    one of them is that bigotry runs deep, even when it is silent.
    It is revealed in ordinary social isolation of gays in the workplace, I know it from my own and my BF's experiences.
    It also runs deep within the committed religious followers of Jesus and Mohammad; they truly believe that what God/Allah says is the last word and the last law.

    I think Scalia and Alito are such similar thinkers; Thomas and Roberts are not far behind. And whether they are members of Opus Dei or not, the same over riding religious scruples have invaded the very top echelons of the legal and political world. their decisions will be against us until their hell freezes over.
    But they will all be so polite.......maybe if we tug our forelocks they will drop us some crumbs.......and decide the cases on the narrowest issues.

    Well phuck that.....it's Equality or nothing;
    or better, Equality or mass activism.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Dec 9, 2012 7:57:51 AM


  7. As activist as this current court is, I do not expect much fairness, sensitivity, or sensibility.

    Posted by: billmiller | Dec 9, 2012 8:32:16 AM


  8. The Canadian Supreme Court decision legalized gay marriage in Canada. Likewise, any decision at the U.S. federal level, by Congress and signed by the president, could ultimately be challenged in court, and would have to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 9, 2012 9:38:31 AM


  9. I'm not worried.

    I'm 65 years old and have kived though things you damned kids(GET OFF MY LAWN!!!) cna't so much as imagine.

    We have gret lawyers and tons of materal tow draw from to make our case (eg. the Prop 8 trial) of course Scalia will ignore all this.

    As I point out here

    http://fablog.ehrensteinland.com/2012/12/08/fait-diver-normal-democratic-means/

    it's clear he never even READ Bowers. But he's two votes (Thomas being his personal Lawn Jockey)

    As POTUS says, "Forward!"

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Dec 9, 2012 10:24:46 AM


  10. Unless you happen to be a litigator briefing the Supreme Court on these matters, there really is not much point in fretting for the next six months. Won't accomplish anything.

    Trying to read the High Court tea leaves may be fun for some, but keep in mind that it is a sport with very very thin predictive value. VERY few people expected the Court to uphold the ACA on Spending Clause rather than Commerce Clause grounds. And even fewer prognosticators expected Roberts to pen a majority opinion to which Kennedy dissented.

    Posted by: Lars | Dec 9, 2012 10:31:53 AM


  11. They want this over as badly as we do. And if they rule against us, it will keep popping up like a beach ball pushed under water. Everyone knows where this is going eventually, and they need to dispense with this and get on to bigger and better things. Quick before Congress beats them to it.

    Posted by: Rob | Dec 9, 2012 11:38:26 AM


  12. I suspect that in the end, the vote will be 9 to 0 in our favor. I tend to believe that none of them will want to go down in history as a holdout Bigot.

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Dec 9, 2012 1:16:34 PM


  13. It seems strange the the Court would even take the Prop 8 case if all they were going to do is uphold the narrow ruling. It's seems to me they want to make a landmark ruling one way or the other. Either to say it's a states rights issue or say all Americans are entitled to marriage equality. Given Kennedy's rulings on Romer and Lawrence, I'm optimistic this will go in our favor.

    Posted by: Ken | Dec 9, 2012 1:19:39 PM


  14. I'm not sure what the interesting federal question there is with Prop 8. With DOMA you have an excellent case of federal priorities versus state authority. With Prop 8 you get mired in 14th Amendment precedent, which is either going to be applied to gays or not. The law itself is not going to change.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 9, 2012 4:49:46 PM


  15. @Jerry6: "I tend to believe that none of them will want to go down in history as a holdout Bigot."

    True enough. Remember, however, that some of them do not recognize they are bigots. Although it may be bluster, the Religious Right says it is determined to fight to the end. They know they will win, because their interpretation of God says so. Just like the landslide Romney victory.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Dec 9, 2012 6:41:53 PM


  16. If SCOTUS doesn't find in favor of gay people, my partner and I, of 28 years together, will die before we have another chance. It is like missing Halley's Comet, there will NOT be another sighting for 76 years.

    Posted by: Bill Michael | Dec 9, 2012 7:15:04 PM


  17. Just a reminder to some of those who seem to think that all Catholics think and act alike: One of the great leaders of the liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme court was an Irish Catholic Justice by the name of William Brennan who had one of the longest tenures in court history. (1956-1990), So proud of that great Irish-American.

    Posted by: andrew | Dec 10, 2012 1:09:39 AM


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