Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shorter Glenn Garvin: Civil Rights Laws Were A "Tactical Mistake."

I'm going to do my level best to fairly summarize Glenn Garvin's column today on Judge Walker's landmark decision on Proposition 8:
1.  Eric Deggins is black and recently got a racist voicemail.

2.  This proves some whites still hate blacks despite the civil rights laws and all the judicial rulings on black/white relations.

3.  The Prop 8 lawsuit was not about allowing gays to marry because they have lots of other rights except specifically the right to marry.  

4.  Rather, the suit seeks to force non-gays to "socially accept and emotionally affirm" gays.

4.  This won't work because some whites still hate blacks.

5.  Thus, the "blunt force of government edicts" is a tactical mistake with respect to gays, just like it was with respect to blacks.

6.  Barry Goldwater was right.
There's so much wrong here I'm not sure where to begin.

Let's start with the civil rights laws.

Last I checked, they were not about white people "emotionally affirming" black people -- they were about fully enabling black people to vote, buy homes in white neighborhoods, marry white people, go to intergrated schools, drink from a white water fountain, sit anywhere they want on a bus, be able to eat at the Burdines lunch counter -- you know, that kind of thing.

That some whites still hate blacks does nothing to diminish the value or significance of the substantive rights established by judicial rulings and other "governmental edicts" regarding black people.

Moving on to the Prop 8 lawsuit, Glenn is woefully confused.

Judge Walker was not asked and did not make any rulings regarding the "emotional affirmation or social acceptance" of gay marriage.  He did not seek to abolish "irrational prejudice by government decree."  That's not what courts do.

He did make "findings of fact" and ruled, based on real, honest-to-goodness evidence presented at trial, that there is no "rational basis" to deprive Americans from the right to marry based on their sexual preference -- and that to do so violates the 14th Amendment.  (See Ted Olsen explain that to an incredulous Chris Wallace above).

Indeed, Judge Walker expressly refused to make any rulings regarding morality or the "emotional acceptance" of one view of marriage as opposed to another.  What he did evaluate is whether there are any tangible benefits to the State recognizing only heterosexual marriage, and found -- based on credible social science testimony -- that none exists.  That's why it is unconstitutional to deprive gay couples from the institution of marriage, because there are no legitimate empirical or utilitarian justifications to support the deprivation.

The fact that some whites still hate blacks doesn't mean Loving v. Virginia was wrongly decided.  In fact, more people support gay marriage now than supported interracial marriage in 1967 (only four percent(!) of the American public supported that right in 1958).

Get on the right side of history, Glenn -- or just go back to reviewing "Cougar Town."


Godwhacker said...

Now that was a 'Godwhacking' if ever I saw one. I'm almost jealous!

Anonymous said...


whoah, whoah, whoah.....

don't be taking no swipes at cougar town, hear?

fake Tony Perkins said...

I think what you have is one judge who thinks he knows -- and a district level judge and an openly homosexual judge at that -- who says he knows better than not only 7 million voters in the state of California but voters in 30 states across the nation that have passed marriage amendments," Perkins said. "Had this guy been... an evangelical preacher in his past there would have been cries for him to step down from this case. So I do think [his homosexuality] has a bearing on the case.

Kerrigan Jim said...

@fake Tony Perkins, I agree, there are so many liberal blog out there that seem to think that the gay judge would never think to be biased: http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/2010/02/09/judge-in-prop-8-case-is-probably-gay-so-what/

Tell that to every trial attorney in the country.

Anonymous said...

A political culture that focuses excessively on the “who” rather than the “what”—one that fosters the view that if we know who wrote an opinion, it is not necessary to read the opinion itself—is not healthy. Look at the comments section in almost any political blog, on the left or the right, and you’ll see comments almost uniformly taking a quick turn into attacks on the identity and motivation of the writers. The decline in the quality of our civic discourse can’t be dumped entirely at the foot of mandatory disclosure, of course. But laws that regard the identity of speakers as fundamental to the public’s ability to judge arguments may well exacerbate a thoughtless, partisan, nasty brand of political debate

Courtney Schoenfeld said...

I think that every judge has life experiences that give him or her a certain standpoint or perspective on issues. The job of the judge is not to enforce or make into law what he believes is right, but to interpret the law as fairly as possible. I believe that this judge followed the law. He's not some renegade making things up, he's enforcing equal rights for everyone.

In other news, Jim and fake Tony, rights are not something we should vote on. Just like court cases should not be tried in the court of public opinion. Mob rule is not generally right, not generally well researched, and for the most part just a wave of emotions that we will eventually ride out. Logic will prevail.

That whole Constitutional Republic is something that you should check out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constitutional_republic

Anonymous said...

One of the main purposes of the courts is to act as a check on the legislature when it violates the constitution. It think this judge rightly did so here.

Anonymous said...

fake Tony, to paraphrase what Olsen said -- should your First Amendment right to post ignorant comments be subjected to a vote?

Anonymous said...

I thought that naming yourself "fake" anything/anyone was blog comment code for "the following is purely tongue-in-cheek." Why all the sudden serious responses to "fake Tony Perkins." Am I missing something?

Also, I thought the prop 8 judge was not openly gay. Instead, he is "a confirmed bachelor" who routinely declines to comment on his sexuality. That's what NPR said a few weeks ago anyways.

South Florida Lawyers said...

Tony Perkins was great in Psycho.

Anonymous said...

what i'd give for a cougar RIGHT NOW

Anonymous said...

I like lea and perkins on my london broil

Godwhacker said...

@12:07 & 12:51

If the judge was straight, then "I" could also say that he was biased.

Rather than playing that game, look at the facts, and then look me in the eye and tell me why my partner of 10 years and I must forever be second class citizens.

Anonymous said...

OK...going out on a limb here.

Homosexuality is wrong the way that putting leaded fuel into an unleaded only engine is wrong. It is functionally wrong. The proof is in the pudding, homosexual sex cannot under any circumstances lead to procreation. BUT THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT A MORAL OR LEGAL WRONG. If two people of the same sex want to do it, that is no one's problem but theirs. If your religious views don't let you accept that, perhaps it’s time you reconsider any religion/set of values that 1) condemns people for doing what naturally makes happy, and 2) doesn't hurt you or anyone else in any way.

Ok. That’s my piece. I’m done.

Godwhacker said...


"Homosexuality is wrong the way that putting leaded fuel into an unleaded only engine is wrong. It is functionally wrong."

But I'm a leaded engine. I like the leaded fuel. Homosexuality may be functionally wrong FOR YOU, but it is at the core of my nature. It is what feels right to me. What the court acknowledged in this decision is that homosexuality is an immutable human characteristic.

It's not a 'problem' for me in any way, with the exception of a few laws like DOMA and DADT that actively discriminate against me.

No, I can't procreate with my partner, but I can, like many heterosexual couples, with a surrogate. But in a world with overpopulation as a pending issue, I should get at 'thank you' for that fact rather than this tepid condemnation.

Anonymous said...

The analogy between domestic partnership laws and separate but equal is too blatant even for a dolt like Garvin.

Anonymous said...

This is 5:54 at Godwhacker:

I said I was going out on a limb because I expected the kind of response I got from Godwhacker. My statement was not an attack on homosexuality. I take no offense at homosexuality and don't give a damn what people do on their own time so long as it doesn't hurt me (and/or others).

But, the evolutionary point of sex is procreation...you know, that whole survival of the species thing. One could argue that it is fun and feels good in order to encourage procreation (animals that like to f**k procreate more, and their species has a better chance of survival). So, homosexual behavior, whether learned, born, or whatever, does not meet the evolutionary purpose of sex.

But here's the catch, who gives a shit whether homosexual behavior meets the evolutionary point of sex? As you (Godwhacker) pointed out, there are already too many of us. In fact, one can argue (and I believe the Catholic church argues this, but with a different goal in mind), that masturbation, wearing a condom or taking the pill are just as "functionally wrong" as homosexual behavior. Since I see no moral or legal problem with masturbation, wearing a condom or taking the pill ... well, the analogy speaks for itself.

Bottom line, prop 8 judge was right.

Also, 6:25 is right.

Godwhacker said...

"But, the evolutionary point of sex is procreation...you know, that whole survival of the species thing."

Don't let this come as a shock to you, but here in the 21st century we have sex because it's beautiful and uplifting, and we get married because we are in love.

I understand that your position is measured, and so was my response. But there was a soft bigotry implied in your words that maybe you aren't aware of.

I can see that you mean well, and I sincerely appreciate that. But you're being a heterosexist to suggest that one type of sexuality is better than another. Your sexuality is obviously better for you, and mine is most definitely better for me.

If you don't want responses like mine, then you need to learn to talk about the issue while leaving out your subtle but implied prejudice.

Anonymous said...

5:54 again @ Godwhacker. Ehh...We will just have to agree to disagree. Happy hunting.

Anonymous said...

5:54 again @ Godwhacker:

Last thing. Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I am a bigot, or even a "soft bigot." I might be a biggot if I thought less of homosexuals because of my "function of sex" arguements, but I don't.

Disagreement alone, a bigot does not make.

Godwhacker said...


Thank you for supporting the judge's decision. But with all do respect, yours is the most vague form of prejudice, but it's still prejudice.

You certainly have the right to your opinions, and we can certainly agree to disagree. But when you assert that heterosexuality is superior, I can only ask 'for whom?'

I'm not offended by you. You seem like a good person who is 90% of the way to tolerance. If that is as far as you ever get, then your still 50% ahead of most people. But if you want to reach 100, please take what I have said seriously.

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