Few things exemplify the brainless white noise of howling human dumbness and tyranny of the majority better than “Proposition 8“, the 2008 ballot initiative that banned marriage equality – by majority rule, no less — in California. Prop 8 is infamous for many reasons, among them putting a twisted, ironic shit-stain on an election day that was being heralded as a “transformative” civil rights landmark.
But not for everyone.
So there is much to celebrate in the wake of a scathing decision yesterday by California’s district court to overturn the vicious “Prop 8”, and return gays and lesbians to the fold of the full complement of rights under the law that every other Californian enjoys. It was a crushing and well-deserved defeat for those born-again pinheads and punishment freaks who would give the state the authority to legislate “morality”. (It’s only slightly ironic that the decision came down on the Transformative President’s birthday.)
And the opinion written by District Judge Vaughn Walker (Maddowblog has a .pdf, well worth the read), while careful and well-researched to a fault, was indeed scathing as legal opinions go, stopping just short of ridicule at times (and that in itself is an accomplishment, given the unrelenting ridiculousness of Prop 8 proponents). It’s indicative of Prop 8’s utter inane absurdity that its proponents’ arguments fell apart like wet 1-ply toilet paper under legal scrutiny, “legal scrutiny” being that which examines and argues only The Facts. Stripped of its imaginary monsters and fear-mongering and bigotry and religious delusions, there was little to support Prop 8.
But you already knew that.
An important aspect of the overturning of Prop 8 is that it reinforces the truism that rights are not something that can or should ever be put to a vote. Rights are innate, intrinsic to humanity, and in some lucky parts of the world, protected by the state against just the kind of tyranny of the majority that gave California Prop 8. It’s ludicrous to imagine that we can “vote” on who has rights and who doesn’t — and no decent person should even want to.
Prop 8 was a public opinion, but that is all it was — an opinion — and public opinion, even majority public opinion, even when the majority is vast (which in the case of Prop 8 it wasn’t) is completely irrelevant to individual rights. Some of us have always known this, but for others there’s apparently a learning curve.
On that happy note, let’s congratulate blogging buddy Mark and his beloved on their marriage this week. See? No earthquakes, no storms, no plagues of locusts. (I was hoping it might set off the Rapture, but no luck there either.) Just another joyful couple looking forward to a long and happy life together. (Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t that sound kind of, you know, traditional?) Cheers, guys!
UPDATE: You could set your freaking watch by these half-baked halfwits. Right on schedule, the shrieks of “judicial activism!!!” began reverberating through the moronosphere as word spread that Judge Vaughn Walker has a private life, and in that private life, he is gay. (How this affects his ability to interpret the Constitution is anyone’s guess, but anyway…)
Unfortunately, he’s also a registered Republican, nominated first by Reagan then again by Bush the Elder, a nomination which was opposed by liberal Dems and gay rights groups. But don’t take my word for it, listen to the conservative libertarian Cato Institute:
In other words, this “liberal San Francisco judge” was recommended by Ed Meese, appointed by Ronald Reagan, and opposed by Alan Cranston, Nancy Pelosi, Edward Kennedy, and the leading gay activist groups. It’s a good thing for advocates of marriage equality that those forces were only able to block Walker twice.
UPDATE II: Social Conservative idiocy was showcased on Hardball last night with the appearance of nutcase Wendy “Concerned Women of America” Wright, who artlessly sleazed out of answering any of Matthews’ direct questions about why she actually opposes gay marriage:
If ever there was someone who needed to be smacked across the side of the head with a phone book, pushed down a flight of stairs and set on fire, it’s that brainless twat.