NOM: Supreme Court Steps In To Protect Marriage Supporters—-Again
I’ve been watching this trial in the news over proposition 8. It’s outrageous the things Judge Vaughn Walker is trying to do in overturning this law. The judiciary is not meant to be a legislative branch. Half of this questioning has nothing to do with the subject at hand. It’s no wonder the U.S. Supreme Court is now the second court to reprimand Judge Walker for straying from his job as an impartial judge.
See this from Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage:
This is an exciting week for marriage!
I’m excited by the Senate race in Massachusetts, for example–more on that in a second.
But first, a great victory: Once again the Supreme Court has stepped in to protect marriage supporters from potential harassment and intimidation, this time by squashing the effort by Judge Vaughn Walker to break all the rules in order to televise this trial.
That’s two strikes against Judge Walker, by the way; even the liberal Ninth Circuit couldn’t stomach Judge Walker’s earlier ruling allowing an unlimited fishing expedition into the private campaign strategy communications of Protect Marriage.
And it also makes the second time that Justice Anthony Kennedy has stepped forward to try to protect at least the process, to create a more even playing field for supporters of marriage. You will remember it was Justice Kennedy who granted an emergency stay that prevented the release of the names of thousands of Washingtonians who signed a petition overturning an “all-but-marriage” bill, after some gay-marriage advocates said they would try to replicate the effort in California to post these names on the internet.
Justice Kennedy joined four other justices to keep Judge Walker from hastily lifting the TV ban in order to televise the Prop 8 trial: “The balance of equities favors applicants. While applicants have demonstrated the threat of harm they face if the trial is broadcast, respondents have not alleged any harm if the trial is not broadcast.”
I want to include some lengthy quotes from the opinion. If legalese is not your thing, skip over them. But I think those of us who went through the experience of Prop 8 will appreciate that at least five of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court recognize that the wave of intimidation and harassment was quite simply wrong.
The Supreme Court said this week: “Proposition 8 was passed by California voters in November 2008. …Its advocates claim that they have been subject to harassment as a result of public disclosure of their support. See, e.g., Reply Brief for Appellant 28-29 in Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, No. 08-205, now pending before this Court. For example, donors to groups supporting Proposition 8 ‘have received death threats and envelopes containing a powdery white substance.’ Stone, Prop 8 Donor Web Site Shows Disclosure is a 2-Edged Sword, N. Y. Times, Feb. 8, 2009. Some advocates claim that they have received confrontational phone calls and e-mail messages from opponents of Proposition 8, ibid., and others have been forced to resign their jobs after it became public that they had donated to groups supporting the amendment, see Brief for Center for Competitive Politics as Amicus Curiae 13-14, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n, No. 08–205, now pending before this Court. Opponents of Proposition 8 also are alleged to have compiled ‘Internet blacklists’ of pro-Proposition 8 businesses and urged others to boycott those businesses in retaliation for supporting the ballot measure. Carlton, Gay Activists Boycott Backers of Prop 8, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 27, 2008, A3. And numerous instances of vandalism and physical violence have been reported against those who have been identified as Proposition 8 supporters. See Exhs. B, I, and L to Defendant-Intervenors’ Motion for Protective Order in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, No. 3:09–cv–02292 (ND Cal.)(hereinafter Defendant-Intervenors’ Motion).”
The trial, which gay marriage advocates had hoped would be some kind of cultural zeitgeist-shifting moment, is turning out to be a bit of a dud from their point of view. Maggie told me a New York Times reporter asked her about how the pro-gay-marriage arguments summoned by hotshot dynamic duo of lawyers Ted Olson and David Boies was different. Any new argument? “Not really,” Maggie told the reporter. “I mean these are basically the same stuff we’ve seen rejected even by many liberal state courts, like the state of New York, Maryland and Washington.” The hotshot team of Olson and Boies, misled by their own intellectual arrogance, which includes a profound lack of respect for the views of those Americans (including 7 million Californians who voted for Prop 8), appears off to a not-so-hot start. Harvard Prof. Nancy Cott says procreation–the creation of new life in the only kind of union where that child can reliably know and be known by, love and be loved by her own mom and dad–is no longer really a purpose of marriage (although she has to admit that it once was, at least sort of). Marriage is now about adults and our relationships. Once again, gay-marriage advocates are only reinforcing what we’ve been telling you: You can’t support both the idea that “children need a mom and dad” and “gay marriage.” Gay marriage ends one marriage tradition and irrevocably marks the beginning of using the law to reinforce a radically different idea about marriage.
You get a sense of how intellectually incoherent these advocates’ views are in watching Ted Olson respond when the judge asks whether the government could just abolish marriage for everyone. Yes, he said, that would be constitutional. How can there be a fundamental right to gay marriage if the government can have the constitutional right to abolish gay marriage? It makes no sense. It’s irrational. Nothing about marriage makes sense if you take the reality of the natural family out of the equation.
The obvious truth, repeated over and over again in the legal history of marriage in the U.S., is that the government thought marriage mattered because marital unions produce and protect children. They do this in two ways: First, by creating faithful, exclusive, enduring sexual unions that create the best context fo conceiving children. And second, by preventing (if the man and woman are faithful) the default harms of unregulated opposite-sex union: many fatherless children, many overburdened mothers, many men disconnected from family life.
This is the argument that Ted Olson told Newsweek “cannot be taken seriously.” Good luck with that, Ted. Seven million Californians took it very seriously, and so do the majority of state courts that have considered it, several international human rights courts, and of course every major faith tradition.
On Christianity and marriage, San Francisco attorney Therese Stewart worked hard to establish that Catholics’ and Baptists’ views on marriage and sex are illegitimate bigotry. She actually had Yale Prof. George Chauncey read into the record official statements by the Vatican and by the Southern Baptist Convention. I had to laugh to keep from crying. This is the city that in an official resolution condemned the Catholic Church and urged a sitting Catholic archbishop to “defy” his own faith and side with the City Council’s on gay adoption. Could gay-marriage advocates try any harder to fuel the perception that a victory for gay marriage requires the defeat of religious liberty, tolerance, and civility for Christianity and other traditional faiths?
I don’t really think this is the way to win Justice Kennedy’s heart. We’ll see.
The most amusing thing is watching the San Francisco expert’s case on how gay marriage is going to economically benefit the government fall apart under questioning. Really, is that the best you can do? Overturn the people’s right to amend their own constitution to protect marriage–so San Francisco can collect some sales tax revenue from wedding ceremonies?
This has been a long letter, so let me close by pointing out that the Massachusetts senate race is a marriage battle: Scott Brown, who suddenly finds himself neck and neck in a senate race with Martha Coakley, was one of the stalwart legislators who resisted efforts to bribe and intimidate them, and supported the people’s right to vote for marriage in Massachusetts. As state attorney general, Martha Coakley spearheaded a lawsuit that is asking the Supreme Court to overturn the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The election Is Tuesday. If you live in Massachusetts, or know anyone who does, be sure to get out and vote.
Thank you again for your support, your prayers, your financial sacrifices, and your friendship.
God’s blessings on you,
Brian S. Brown
National Organization for Marriage
20 Nassau Street, Suite 242
Princeton, NJ 08542