Thursday, August 05, 2010

When Can Bigots Be Called Bigots?

Political correctness was designed to allow voices than had been oppressed to have a seat at the table. But the real effect has been exactly the opposite. It has created a bizarre equivalence of all viewpoints that does not allow us to call things what they, in fact, are. A movement intended to allow for intellectual tolerance has been used by those who are intolerant as a weapon to protect them from being called intolerant.

Federal judge Vaughn Walker overturned California's Prop 8 banning gay marriage, a law designed to do nothing other than deny honest, hard-working, tax-paying citizens rights and protections under the law. The factual basis on which they made their case was, he ruled, top to bottom faulty, completely flawed. His ruling was not a matter of interpreting the law, but a finding of fact, that the claimed evidence they cited as support was untrue. The only real argument was one based on "unfounded stereotypes and prejudices." From the ruling:

Proponents purported rationales are nothing more than post-hoc justifications. While the Equal Protection Clause does not prohibit post-hoc rationales, they must connect to the
classification drawn. Here, the purported state interests fit so poorly with Proposition 8 that they are irrational, as explained above. What is left is evidence that Proposition 8 enacts a moral view that there is something “wrong” with same-sex couples. See FF 78-80. The evidence at trial regarding the campaign to pass Proposition 8 uncloaks the most likely explanation for its passage: a desire to advance the belief that opposite-sex couples are morally superior to same-sex couples. FF 79-80. The campaign relied heavily on negative stereotypes about gays and lesbians and focused on protecting children from inchoate threats vaguely associated with gays and lesbians. FF 79-80; See PX0016Video, Have You Thought About It? (video of a young girl asking whether
the viewer has considered the consequences to her of Proposition 8 but not explaining what those consequences might be)...

Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to deny rights to gay men and lesbians. The evidence shows conclusively that Proposition 8 enacts, without reason, a private moral view that same-sex couples are inferior to opposite-sex couples. FF 76, 79-80; Romer, 517 US at 634 (“[L]aws of the kind now before us raise the inevitable inference that the disadvantage imposed is born of animosity toward the class of persons
affected.”). Because Proposition 8 disadvantages gays and lesbians without any rational justification, Proposition 8 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.


Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license. Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples. Because California has no interest in discriminating against gay men and lesbians, and because Proposition 8 prevents California from fulfilling its constitutional obligation to provide marriages on an equal basis, the court concludes that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.
So, if the judge's argument is that the entire foundation of the case for Prop 8 is the use of biased stereotypes designed to create fear and hatred of a minority, then surely the bigoted nature would be pointed out in media outlets, right?

Of course, wrong. The utmost deference is given to the bigots and all we hear about is the political horse race, how this is BAD NEWS FOR DEMOCRATS. We can't call bigots what they are and that spells disaster for those politicians like our president who walk a tightrope trying not to call bigots what they are, knowing what they should do but lacking the ethical fortitude to actually do it. A victory against bigotry spun into a victory for bigotry. Sigh.