October 26th, 2010
Perry v. Schwarzenegger is about whether California’s Proposition 8 was in violation of the US Constitution… but not really. That’s just the issue. Perry is about something much larger. And it is in the opening paragraphs of the plaintiffs’ rebuttal to appeal (pdf) that this is so eloquently made clear:
This case tests the proposition whether the gay and lesbian Americans among us should be counted as “persons” under the Fourteenth Amendment, or whether they constitute a permanent underclass ineligible for protection under that cornerstone of our Constitution.
Perry is a question about marriage, but the real question, the one that drives the motivations behind Proposition 8 and all of the anti-gay activists, is whether the US Constitution also covers gay people or whether the words “any person” contains an invisible asterisk that references a special exclusion.
This battle, like that over DADT, adoption, and all of the other areas in which gays are segregated and excluded is a battle over whether gay people will be seen as full citizens, or whether the “normalization of homosexuality” is so great a threat that the equality principles enshrined in our founding documents have to be discarded or ignored.
Ted Olson’s response to appeal is as much a stirring call to uphold our values as a people as it is a legal argument. Yes, his logic is sound and his legal reasoning is beyond reproach (and amazingly easy for a lay person to understand); but it is his reminder of why we believe what we believe that makes this document such a great read.
The purpose of the Proponents is not, as they suppose, to protect some idealized institution of marriage. Rather, it is to further and support the culture of disapproval of homosexuality and to do so by carving out an exclusion from the protections afforded by the Constitution. But this is not just a “social discussion” or a “moral position” without direct and dire consequences. As Olson concludes:
Last month, in a widely publicized tragedy, a young Rutgers student jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge after being outed on the Internet as gay. A few days later, across the Hudson River in the Bronx, two 17-year-old young men were beaten and tortured to the brink of death by a gang of nine because they were suspected of being gay. Incidents such as these are all too familiar to our society.
And it is too plain for argument that discrimination written into our constitutional charters inexorably leads to shame, humiliation, ostracism, fear, and hostility. The consequences are all too often very, very tragic.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.