Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Proud to Be a Californian

There's marriage equality in Iowa, so we're not exactly the first, and there's a stay, and it's going to all somehow end up in Chief Justice John Roberts' lap, but the vile Prop 8 forbidding same sex marriage was voided in court.

Judge Vaughan R. Walker, originally a Republican appointee, presided over a lopsided trial, per reports at the time, and his opinion is just this side of lacerating, particularly with regards to the defense's key "expert" -- whom His Honorable reclassified as a pundit:
Walker, in his decision, writes that "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gays and lesbians for denial of a marriage license." He evaluates as credible witnesses the panel of experts who testified against Proposition 8, and finds fault with the credentials of several witnesses who testified against same-sex marriage, including David Blankenhorn, President of the Institute for American Values:

Blankenhorn's testimony constitutes inadmissible opinion testimony that should be given essentially no weight," Walker writes. "Blankenhorn gave absolutely no explanation why
manifestations of the deinstitutionalization of marriage would be exacerbated (and not, for example, ameliorated) by the presence of marriage for same-sex couples. His opinion lacks reliability, as there is simply too great an analytical gap between the data and the opinion Blankenhorn proffered.
Marc Ambinder has this brilliant list of all the facts Walker is basing his opinion on -- 13 of them, including my personal fave:
11. "Marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals."
The battle's not over, and I'm sure there are hateful, bigoted pockets of individuals ready to do violence over the ultimate nationalization of this decision, but this is now about facts found in a court of law by a very smart and fair judge who has made the ruling very difficult to win an appeal against. Every single one of these facts would have to be struck down. By, like, Clarence Thomas.

And the original victims of violence who suffered or showed extraordinary courage to pave the way for this emerging civil freedom have actually won this day by providing, over several decades now, that gay marriage is not any of these threats, these fears that have developed over centuries.

Bravo, CA. It makes the fires, earthquakes and life-shortening mortgages worth it.

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