As the country focused its attention on the Supreme Court and its two hearings on marriage equality this week, two men stood before the Court and easily walked away with Bigot of the Week Award. Attorneys Paul Clement and Charles Cooper go down in legal history for trying to argue that justice is served through discrimination, bigotry, and denying basic rights to a whole group of citizens–what a legacy to leave.
On a constitutional level, the cases are simple and clear. The Proposition 8 case, argued by Cooper, is an attempt to defend California’s notorious measure banning marriage equality for LGBT citizens. The DOMA case, argued by Clement on behalf of the Republicans in the U.S. House, tries to defend blocking over 1100 rights and privileges to already married citizens just because they are same-sex couples. Both cases are based on bigotry and nothing more. How tragic that these two straight white men could stand up and defend this blatant discrimination without shame. Of course, I always wonder about people how are so focused on gay folk and consume so much energy on LGBT issues–what a very large closet to accommodate these people.
We won’t know for a couple of months exactly how the justices will rule on these cases. What we do know is that the arguments used by Clement and Cooper were old, tired, and transparently vile. Even the justices who seemed reluctant to move toward full national equality were skeptical of the shallow canards put forth by these hypocritical bigots. They used procreation, history, and (believe it or not) a level playing field as arguments to prop up their sad hate. What they could not do, when pressed, is say why any of their arguments served a state interest or showed why discrimination was merited.
One way or another, with or without the Court, the tide is turning. Public opinion is solidly on the side of equality, shifting over 20 points in just a decade. Over 80% of people under 30 support equality. These tired old white guys can trot out their hate all they like. All they’ll win in the long run is this week’s BWA, which they richly deserve.
Finally, I’m also exceedingly tired of hearing the phrase, “Gay Marriage!” Might I please encourage folks to use Marriage Equality. I don’t have a “Gay Marriage,” just as I don’t leave my job and get in my Gay car and go to my Gay house and then fix my Gay dinner. I just have a marriage–you know, when two people love each other and decide to grow old with each other.
Dishonorable mention comes thanks to my friend Jennifer Carey. Rep. Don Young (R – AK) was waxing nostalgic about agriculture when he uttered the following gem:
My father used to own a ranch. We used to hire 50 to 60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes, you know. It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.
All I can say to this horrible bigot is that he’s lucky Clement and Cooper were around to steal his award…