Thursday, September 04, 2014

What a difference a day makes in marriage equality cases

The day after suffering a minor setback in losing a marriage equality court case in Louisiana, the lgbt community springs back today with a marriage equality victory in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. This victory eliminates marriage equality bans in Indiana and Louisiana.

This unanimous decision by the three judges was not a surprise, seeing how they practically ran the defenders of the ban out of court during the trial in late August.

Rather than make a large comparison between today's decision and yesterday's decision, I thought I would focus on the one thing which made the difference and that will probably continue make the difference in these cases:

Justice Martin Feldman in ruling for Louisiana's marriage equality ban:

This Court is persuaded that Louisiana has a legitimate interest…whether obsolete in the opinion of some, or not, in the opinion of others…in linking children to an intact family formed by their two biological parents, as specifically underscored by Justice Kennedy in Windsor.

Justice Richard Posner in today's decision:

Our pair of cases is rich in detail but ultimately straightforward to decide. The challenged laws discriminate against a minority defined by an immutable characteristic, and the only rationale that the states put forth with any conviction— that same-sex couples and their children don’t need marriage because same-sex couples can’t produce children, intended or unintended—is so full of holes that it cannot be taken seriously.

The difference is stark. Posner and his fellow justices considered how the lack of marriage equality harms same-sex families with children. Feldman did not. In fact, Feldman omitted the fact that same-sex families with children exist.

In my opinion, that's what these cases will come down to - whether these families deserve protection given to them by marriage. Or do they deserve to be omitted and ignored.

'Senior GOP spokesman comes out of the closet' & other Thursday midday news briefs

One Year Later, Horror Stories About This City’s LGBT Non-Discrimination Law Haven’t Come True - We really need to be keeping a record of how many times anti-gay horror stories don't come true.

James Richardson Comes Out: 'I'm A Senior GOP Spokesman, And I'm Gay.' - That "DAMN! DAMN! DAMN!" you are hearing is not the ghost of Esther Rolle reprising the scene from "Good Times" when her character dealt with the death of her husband, James. It's coming from the anti-gay industry as a GOP spokesman comes out of the closet.  

Did Daniel Pierce's Coming-Out Video Upset You? Here Are 5 Things You Can Do - The video of the young man assaulted by his family when he came out has generated considerable buzz. Now let's talk about the other children who face awful situations when coming out. What can be done for them? 

 Why The Dallas Cowboys Are An Excellent Fit For Michael Sam - Because their defense sucks. Okay the article doesn't make it sound so bad. Sorry, that was the bitch in me talking.  

Bronx Pastor Running For State Office Praises Uganda’s Anti-Gay Laws - Oh nice! (sarcasm fully intended)

FRC's Tony Perkins is practically delusional about LA marriage equality decision

We knew that the anti-gay right would be gloating over their victory yesterday in Louisiana but in the case of Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, how can one get angry when the gloat is just damn so delusional:

Tony Perkins
Relying on research -- not the Left's misshapen idea of "rights" -- the Reagan appointee (U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman) was blunt about the danger of chasing the political and cultural winds. "Public attitude might be becoming more diverse, but any right to same-sex marriage is not yet so entrenched as to be fundamental," he said plainly. Unlike so many of his peers, Feldman rightly recognized that the courts have no authority to unilaterally change the definition of our most fundamental social institution. While the courts stampede voters' rights to force their agenda, Feldman defended government by the people, for the people. "The state of Louisiana has a legitimate interest under a rational basis standard of review for addressing the meaning of marriage through the democratic process." We applaud him -- as well as state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and special counsel Kyle Duncan and Mike Johnson, for standing up for the rule of law. They may be in the minority in the courts -- but they're in the majority where it counts: public opinion. 

Is Perkins for real? Just when exactly did Feldman rely on research? One of the objections to Feldman's ruling is that he clearly ignored research and shaped his opinion as if he was writing anti-gay talking points on marriage equality.

See my post from yesterday concerning the problems with Feldman's ruling.