It is clear that Prop. 8 really stands for “Propaganda 8”. The trial has so far shown that our opponents did not really beat us. What they did was flood mailboxes, pulpits and the airwaves with hideous lies.
The trial in California is creating a real fact-based debate. For all the talk about marriage equality, such a genuine discussion has never really taken place. The vacuum has been filled with talking heads screaming on cable television, distorted :30 second television ads and preachers fulminating from the pulpit.
Having an issue hashed in this ignoble manner suited anti-gay activists. As long as emotion trumped reason and ignorance eclipsed education, our opponents would have the upper-hand. The trial threatened to change this dynamic, so conservatives on the Supreme Court overstepped their bounds and intervened this week, banning television cameras.
In the most underhanded way imaginable, they elected to keep citizens in the dark, because they are acutely aware their bigotry would melt in the light of day. The anti-gay bias coming from Antonin Scalia – and his political puppets Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and John Roberts – is outrageous. It is disappointing that Anthony Kennedy went along for the ride. Perhaps, he joined this sordid bunch because he is inclined to vote against the freedom to marry. (I certainly hope not) Keeping the people ignorant and stifling the free flow of information might limit the number of individuals offended by a detestable ruling against liberty.
Here are a few key stories to read on the Propaganda 8 trial:
L.A. Times Editorial:
In what ways would same-sex marriages be the same or different from heterosexual marriages? Answer: It’s nobody’s business…Somehow, society — and in this case, a federal judge — are being put in the position of deciding whether these unions are “good enough” to earn the legal and social status of marriage. We don’t judge these issues for heterosexual marriages.
The Washington Post – “High court’s broadcast ruling under microscope”
It was a hastily written ruling by Supreme Court standards, and it carried a dissent almost equal in length to the majority’s opinion. But the 5 to 4 decision the court issued late Wednesday blocking the broadcast of a federal trial about the constitutionality of same-sex marriage is being scoured by legal analysts and activists for deeper meaning.
Slate Online: “The Supreme Court’s awful, heavy-handed decision to block videotaping of the gay marriage trial”
Breyer asks a basic question: What is the legal source of the court’s authority to tell a district court how to change its own rules? Breyer lists the judicial councils with the power to set rules for this California trial court. The Supreme Court isn’t on it. The justices haven’t interfered with the Circuit Judicial Councils that preside over such rule-making for 80 years — that is, since their creation. Breyer can’t find any precedent for what the court is doing. He calls it “inadvisable” and says the court is micromanaging. He is being polite. His most pointed dig is to quote Scalia saying, in a previous case, “I do not see the basis for any direct authority to supervise lower courts.” That was then, apparently.
Prop 8 Trial Tracker: “What Do They Have To Hide”
One of the most persistent features of the anti-equality movement is their desire to hide from public scrutiny. Whether it’ their efforts to close the trial to cameras or their efforts to block disclosure rules, Prop 8 supporters are adamant that they be allowed to hide their motives and even their names from us.