Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Justice, NOM NOM

Everyone expected U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane to come down on the side of marriage equality, and he did, carefully citing legal precedents in his opinion, but he also got personal. Which was either touching or appalling, depending on whether you're camped on the shiny side of Justice or the old, dingy side. Even before his ruling, there had already been calls for McShane to recuse himself from the case on account of presumed bias. The problem, as some saw it, was that McShane was gay. And not merely gay, or suspiciously unmarried, or neatly-turned-out, or evangelist-in-the-bathroom-stall gay, but right out there in the open gay, with no mitigating sense of shame. And as such, he was considered to be likely to come down on what the complainers say is the wrong side of the issue. Whereas if someone presumed to be heterosexual were to rule on the case, there'd at least be a chance he or she would be a total idiot.

McShane didn't even try to keep his personal views out of his opinion. This is thought to be proof that, as many had feared, he had taken into account his own life experience and his intimate knowledge of the consequences of being a minority in the dominant community, and he made a ruling with all that in mind, rather than issuing the correct ruling based on having no such knowledge or empathy at all. In cases like these, it's far safer to go with a guy who doesn't have any understanding of the issue. Ignorance leads to purer results. Do I have that right?

No? Oh, I see. The real problem is that Judge McShane might be in a position to take advantage of his own ruling, in the same way a judge might stand to gain financially on a decision involving a company he had stock in. In this case, he might be able to marry his longtime partner  if he determines marriage inequality is unconstitutional. He says he's not planning to do that, but talk is cheap. Of course, there wasn't anything stopping him from getting legally married before, as long as he found the right woman. So what's at stake here is merely the ability to marry the person you'd actually pick out for yourself, and that's certainly not the kind of freedom we celebrate in this country. Right?

No?

Well, maybe I don't understand this at all. After all, even if you got someone on the bench who swore up and down, in spite of living in a blue state, that he was in fact straight, and he'd be damned if he cared what the electorate thought of that, he could still stand to benefit personally from his own ruling. Not if he decided gays couldn't marry; that wouldn't do him, or society, any good at all. But if he ruled in favor of gay marriage, that would open things up for him a whole lot. He'd have a ton more choices. He wouldn't have to settle for a broad if he didn't want to. Maybe he wouldn't take advantage of the possibilities, but he could.

None of this is persuasive to the National Organization for Marriage, which is doing everything it can to reverse the ruling. Nothing is more important to NOM than this issue, since they have determined that world peace is at hand, nobody is going hungry or contracting disease, every puppy has a loving home, and their heads can indeed fit all the way up their asses.

I guess what it comes down to is some people think the deck got stacked, and that an effort should have been made to find a judge that might have the same stupid ideas they do. Well. I think everyone has a right to his or her own stupid opinion. I just think it should be expressed in the privacy of one's own home, and not out there in public where I have to see it.

27 comments:

  1. Dammit woman, when you mentioned "NOM", I thought there was going to be food here. But no. Not so much as a mini-quiche (without onion). As for politicos, equality and voting freedom is essential in all overseas countries, but not in our back yard. Good grief, the idea that all men are created equal was NEVER intended to include those who approve of floral arrangements and a neat half-Windsor. That's practically Communist! Your belligerently, Sen. Oswald Closet-Johnson (R).

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    1. I've been feeling a little peckish too, ever since I laid eyes on that damned acronym. Incidentally, Senator, I recall you tie a neat half-Windsor yourself.

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    2. Madam, I'm a full-Windsor man.

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  2. So, this means you are NOT going to run for office? What a disappointment!

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  3. What a travesty - not like white southern judges ruling on Civil Rights issues which was perfectly acceptable...
    the Ol'Buzzard

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    1. Well at least you could count on them getting it right.

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  4. So what's at stake here is merely the ability to marry the person you'd actually pick out for yourself, and that's certainly not the kind of freedom we celebrate in this country. Right?

    Of course not. We should be like proper religious countries such as Pakistan, where people who choose their own marriage partners are stoned to death.

    I love the claim that a gay judge should have recused himself from the case, as if a black judge would have been unqualified to rule on a Civil Rights case.

    That was a great parade, wasn't it?

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    1. 'Twas. I'm embarrassed I don't have more recent parade photographs to post, but it was fun meeting you there!

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  5. If a given church wants to not allow marriage based on gender or left-handedness or whatever than that is their religious right to believe and act accordingly. I always thought we had separation of church and state in this country and religious objections to like-gender marriages should not be allowed to interfere with those who do not profess that religion.

    Your comments on Judges recusing themselves is right on.
    Some religions would not consecrate a union where no children were to be conceived. Perhaps we should all have our ovaries checked and our sperm counted before we are allowed to chose a partner.

    If you do not agree with something, but it hurts no one else, does not damage the economy, is not a health threat, and makes anyone else happy then you should probably STFU.

    I am a Republican, I am conservative, I do have a heart...sometimes.

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    1. You're not a very good Republican, are you, Joe?

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  6. I am so enamored of the phrase, "there's no such thing as objectivity." Because the deck will never be unstacked, some cuts that stack it other ways are must happen. Sad it takes so long to achieve a balance.

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    1. This particular house of cards is falling in a hurry, though, ain't it?

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  7. I'd like to take McShane out to dinner and nom-nom-nom with him for a few hours. We wouldn't talk rulings and laws; we'd talk about how amazingly light and airy the noodles in the white truffle linguini are.

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    1. Well I'd like to go out to dinner with YOU, but I guess I could settle for an ice cream after you get done canoodling with Mike.

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  8. Too bad stupidity isn't considered socially unacceptable.

    I like learning what's going on in the US from you, Murr. We don't get a lot of this stuff on our news.

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    1. You probably didn't hear about our Junior Rose Festival Parade today, either, then. Just got back from that. Many children in an astounding variety of sizes paraded by. Nobody appeared to be packing.

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  9. The reactions imply that they think the ruling will make gay marriage compulsory rather than possible.
    And jenny_o is right. There is not nearly enough research money put aside to finding a cure for stupidity. Or insensitivity. Or jerkdom.

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    1. I've heard you can't fix stupid. I think you can fix stupid people, though, and that should help in the long run.

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  10. Are you telling me the National Organization for Marriage is NOT for ALL marriages. Appalling and they sound like terrorists - you know like those Muslim guys that believe marriage choice is only for men.

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    1. There are many similarities among the major world religions. Truth be told.

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  11. You rock so hard, Ms. Brewster. Thanks for saying this like only you can. You speak for lots of us!

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    1. Arf arf arf arf arf! ("Speak, Murr.")

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  12. It has been hard for me to believe that blue Oregon hasn't had equality of marriage before this. I have been to Eugene and Portland, for goodness' sake.

    Congratulations on joining the "right" side of justice.

    I'm from Minnesota, btw. We haven't fallen into the pits of hell so far, and our state has had marriage equality for just over a year now. God is okay with it, I think.

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    1. I know, right? I'm blaming it on the fact (I think it's a fact) that we had the first anti-gay-rights initiative on the ballot and it got the whole dark side organized, so they were ready when we came back with a civil rights initiative. Thank God a bunch of them are dying off now. Whew.

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  13. Replies
    1. Ladies and gentlemen, that's MY baby.

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