May 10th, 2012
I wrote yesterday that Barack Obama does not believe we are covered by the Equal Protection Clause, and that he would vote against us on the constitutionality of Prop 8. I’ll have to walk that back — though not as far you might like, and not for the reasons you might expect.
A friend has pointed out that when the 9th Circuit agreed that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, it did so because the proposition removed an existing right from California citizens. The Court declined to state that all bans on same-sex marriage violate the Constitution. From its decision:
Proposition 8 singles out same-sex couples for unequal treatment by taking away from them alone the right to marry, and this action amounts to a distinct constitutional violation because the Equal Protection Clause protects minority groups from being targeted for the deprivation of an existing right without a legitimate reason. Romer, 517 U.S. at 634-35.
Withdrawing from a disfavored group the right to obtain a designation with significant societal consequences is different from declining to extend that designation in th first place
We therefore need not and do not consider whether same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry, or whether states that fail to afford the right to marry to gays and lesbians must do so. Further, we express no view on those questions.
In other words, taking Obama’s statement seriously, if he were on the Supreme Court he might very well vote to strike down Prop 8 based on the Equal Protection Clause — but also vote to uphold bans on same-sex marriage in states that have never offered its citizens that right.
Some people have told me none of this matters. Obama supports equality exactly the way we want him to, and is just making a careful political calculation when he talks about leaving it up to the states.
But there’s so much irony in that reply! After all, we knew (didn’t we?) that Barack Obama supported marriage equality in his heart of hearts. Our celebration yesterday came entirely from the fact that he said it publicly. Public statements matter — that’s the point of yesterday’s rejoicing. And that holds true, not just for Obama’s personal views on marriage equality, but for whether he thinks it’s okay for the states to decide this on their own, against us, if that’s what they want.
And for everyone who’s telling me what a great victory this is, despite the legalese? Yes. I know. I sent Obama $100. I lifted a couple glasses in celebration. Well, three. Actually, four. And I wrote this:
Obama can claim another civil rights first. He hasn’t just broken the color barrier — he’s opened the yellow brick road. He’s giving back, repaying the fighters and activists of previous generations who made his own election possible, so that now, somewhere, in a tiny little no-name corner of the nation, a bright and talented gay kid has suddenly realized: I can be president.
Now I can think of one justifiable complaint: Damn it, Rob, can’t you let us have one whole day of unalloyed celebration before starting in on what’s wrong? And, yeah, I can see that.
Because the world truly did change yesterday.
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.