By Doug Porter
There’s only one story that matters today for millions of Americans: Hollingsworth v. Perry.
The US Supreme Court will hear arguments today challenging the legality of California’s Proposition 8, a measure passed by voters in 2008 that banned same sex marriage.
Hundreds of San Diegans, including prominent politicians from both sides of the aisle, converged on the federal courthouse downtown last evening to rally in support of same sex couples having the fundamental right to marry.
But you wouldn’t know about that outpouring of support by reading the morning paper. UT-San Diego studiously ignored the rally. There was no mention of the dozens and dozen of similar events around the country.
Instead we got a tit-for-tat perspective on the issue via local clerics on opposing sides bound for Washington DC rallies outside the Supreme Court.
It was a fine example of controlling the narrative… All those Gay rights people are far away… Nothing to see here… But we can tell you that the local head of the Republican Party says that marriage should be between a man and a woman….
SDGLN.com news reported:
“We stand here on the shoulders of great civil rights leaders who fought before us,” said Navy veteran Sean Sala, the local LGBT activist who organized the “Light The Way To Justice” rally.
The San Diego event, Sala said, is just one of 180 rallies across the country organized by the United for Marriage coalition in the run-up to the U.S. Supreme Court oral hearings on Prop 8 on Tuesday and DOMA on Wednesday. The nation’s highest court is expected to make rulings on both cases by the end of June, when the current court session expires.
Spotted in the crowd were San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and her partner, Denise Neleson; former San Diego City Councilmember Carl DeMaio and his partner, Johnathan Hale, publisher of SDGLN and SDPIX; and San Diego school board member Kevin Beiser and his partner, Dan Mock.
Up in San Francisco the crowd was even larger, chanting “Gay. Straight. Black. White. MARRIAGE IS A CIVIL RIGHT!”
Things have changed remarkably, we are in a very different world today
Jon Davidson, legal director for Lambda Legal, quoted in the LA Times.
The San Francisco Chronicle described the significance of today’s hearing:
The clash over same-sex marriage that lands at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday is more than a difference of opinions — it’s a confrontation between opposite ways of looking at the world.
One view is through the eyes of gays and lesbians like the two couples who sued to overturn Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California.
From their perspective, Prop. 8 was an act of prejudice, cloaked in tradition, and a violation of the constitutional guarantee of equal protection. The only question in the case, their lawyers argue, is whether the state is entitled to exclude gays and lesbians from the institution of marriage.
Prop. 8’s sponsors, on the other hand, say the 2008 initiative should be seen through the eyes of the 7 million Californians who supported it. For those voters, the measure’s backers said, it simply reaffirmed the historic definition of marriage and was not meant to denigrate or offend anyone. Prop. 8 is constitutional, its defenders argue, because having two people in a marriage of opposite sex is good for their children and for society, regardless of the law’s impact on same-sex couples.
The Los Angeles Times talked about the long, strange trip it has been to get this point in history:
Four years ago, many gay rights advocates shook their heads when super-lawyers Theodore B. Olson and David Boies announced they would challenge California’s ban on gay marriages in federal court and take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
It was too risky, the skeptics said. Voters in state after state were rejecting same-sex marriage, and no federal judge had said such bans were illegal. One liberal legal scholar called the lawsuit a “Hail Mary” pass.
But now that Proposition 8’s ban on gay marriage is set for a hearing Tuesday before the Supreme Court, the lawyers and activists who started the case think they may be on the verge of a historic victory. Even the early doubters are hopeful. “We think the time is right,” said Los Angeles lawyer Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., Olson’s partner on the case. “Everything seems to be breaking in favor of marriage equality.”
Not everybody was happy about the possibilities of a court ruling (and there are several distinct possibilities) in favor of recognizing the rights of Gay people.
Over at Red State, they’re making the argument that any positive ruling will trigger religious persecution:
So those Christians must be silenced. The left exerted a great deal of energy to convince everyone that the gay lifestyle is an alternative form of normal. It then has exerted a great deal of energy convincing people that because the gay lifestyle is just another variation of normal, gay marriage must be normalized.
Meanwhile, those Christians are out there saying it is not normal and are refusing to accept it as normal because of silly God dared to say marriage is a union between a man and woman.
Any Christian who refuses to recognize that man wants to upend God’s order will have to be driven from the national conversation. They will be labeled bigots and ultimately criminals.
UT-San Diego wraps up its ‘he said – she said’ story by quoting Skyline Church pastor Jim Garlow
He cites studies funded by traditional-marriage groups that conclude children fare better with two-gender parenting. He rejects other studies that reach the opposite conclusion, including one from the American Academy of Pediatrics released last week.
“Five thousand years of tradition are on our side,” Garlow said. “I care deeply about the future of marriage and of America. The evidence is overwhelming that same-sex marriage is destructive and harmful for America’s children.”
People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch quote a radio interview with far-right activist Michael Peroutka:
Apparently the reason we aren’t following God’s moral code on the issue of marriage or other social issues, according to Peroutka, is because of the Unions victory in the Civil War, or as he called it: “The War Between the States.”
He argued that the South’s defeat opened the door to a “huge black hole of centralized power,” which means that people began looking to the government, rather than God, as the source of their rights.
Peroutka said that “the real effect of the War and the Reconstruction after the war was to take the very foundation of our understanding of our rights away from us, that is to say that they come from God, and put them in the hands of men,” who can then change the meaning of concepts like marriage.
Make no mistake about it. These Supreme Court rulings (in June, most likely) are pivotal moments in US history. But just as Brown v. Education created a wave of reaction when schools were desegregated, it’s likely these decisions will energize the fringe forces of reaction. Even if the battle for marriage is over, the war will continue.
Tomorrow the court will hear arguments relating to the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which required the Federal government to only recognize traditional couples.
A New Kind of Labor Action: Twitter Strike!
Anybody who argues against the importance of social media is today’s world probably won’t understand the significance of this item from sfweekly.com. Trust me, the owners of the San Francisco Chronicle were paying attention yesterday after a social media protest garnered over 100,00 followers in 24 hours:
After launching its hard paywall on Sunday, the San Francisco Chronicle looked to its social media-savvy reporters — and their prodigious Twitter feeds — to help sustain traffic on its new “premium” website.
Instead, the reporters launched a massive Twitter strike over the calloused health care proposals of Hearst Corp., the Chron’s New York-based parent firm.
Chron employees today changed their Twitter avatars to feature red squares and tweeted links to a Facebook page launched by Friends of the San Francisco Chronicle Guild. It included links to a petition against Hearst’s November proposal to shift the burden of health care costs over to employees, raising rates to double or triple the current cuts on their paychecks — and up to $3,000 annually for family plans.
Friends No More, Thanks to Sequestration
Sequestration is the story of a thousand cuts. This item from NBC San Diego caught my eye:
Friendship Park at the U.S.-Mexico border will be closing in two weeks because of sequester cuts.
The Border Patrol says they have been forced to downsize their budget, which means they will need to close the park.
The park draws big crowds from the U.S. and Mexico, where people chat through a chain-link fence separating Imperial Beach andTijuana.
Opponents to the closure say the park is a necessary part of the relationship between the Mexican and American border.
It is expected to officially close on April 6.
An Act of Humility in Support of Immigration Justice
The Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice of San Diego County is gathering for an Easter and Passover celebration of Freedom and Justice supporting Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a pathway to Citizenship on Thursday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral (2728 6th Avenue, San Diego).
The celebration will consist of a traditional Holy Week foot washing and Passover ritual. Participants will share prayers and intentions in the Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Unitarian Universalist sacred traditions. The event will start at 11:30am on the 5th Avenue Patio. For more information, go here.
On This Day: 1827 – Composer Ludwig van Beethoven died. 1982 – Ground breaking ceremonies were held in Washington, DC, for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial 1997 – The 39 bodies of Heaven’s Gate members were found in a mansion in nearby Rancho Santa Fe. The group had committed suicide thinking that they would be picked up by a spaceship following behind the comet Hale-Bopp.
Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!
I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@