Whatever the outcome of this week's historic Supreme Court hearings on same-sex marriage, one thing has become crystal clear: there is no longer, if there ever was, a rational argument to ban it. Are there any grounds for holding that position beyond simple prejudice?
After listening to the oral arguments presented in the Proposition 8 case in the U.S. Supreme Court today, one can't help but marvel at the intricacies of the legal debate. But what's really going on, in a nutshell?
I just walked out of oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court. It was a whirlwind hearing, and all three lawyers faced tough questions from the justices. Here's my initial take on the justices' questions and what they might mean.
The lesson we all can take from the vision of those who foresaw this week is that often in quests for social justice, what seems impossible at first becomes inevitable later. And it's those who are willing to bear the brunt of being told that their ideas are impossible that move us forward.
That swing of public opinion is a contrast to the much slower timing of past civil rights struggles, and explanations are open for debate. But more than a few have attributed the acceptance to entertainment.
Why should beliefs by some trump the democratic rights of others? It should be up to the voters, rather than the courts, to decide whether our policies based on social science or the billionaires' hunches should be the law of the land.
There will be a natural tendency to focus on the legal challenges and the political fights, but history will show the true story of how we achieved marriage equality and how it was in fact a quilt woven of thousands of personal tales, most of which existed entirely outside the courtroom.
It surely isn't happening in this election cycle and may not happen in the next one, but Republicans could be reaching the end of the line on gay marriage, and some conservative activists are even beginning to admit it.
Last week AFER asked if I would like to be included in a press conference call scheduled two hours after the Prop 8 decision with lead co-counsel Ted Olson and David Boies. Of course I jumped at the opportunity.
Unless gay men and women reengage themselves with U.S. politics, they could face an unfriendly president and Senate after November 2012, just when key gay rights cases arrive at the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Friday the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will be the epicenter of the two-year battle between the NFL and its players. Both sides appreciate the gravity of this proceeding, filing lengthy legal briefs championing their respective positions.