Arguments in Perry v. Schwarzenegger

by Donald Douglas | January 11, 2010 3:15 am

A year ago, I wrote more on gay marriage than anything else. On the heels of passage of Proposition 8, Californians witnessed one of the most vicious campaigns of partisan demonization witnessed in post-civil rights American politics. I noted this briefly the other day, in my essay, “The Coming Prop 8 Show Trial[1].”

The question of gay marriage to me is extremely complicated, but what most upsets me is that while I’ve argued against same-sex marriage on both religious and secular grounds – and as well in terms of democratic self-determination – it’s almost always the case that my positions are attacked as “bigoted” or “Christianist.” And of course, it hardly helps that the neo-communust America-bashers of International ANSWER are the biggest interest group advocates of the pro-gay marriage movement. It’s hard to get excited about a cause that’s being most vigorously promoted by the same folks who support the killing of America’s soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, or by those who would tear down American sovereignty in a cross-border terror-campaign of open-immigration extremism. But these are the same people. And as Michelle Malkin reminded us the other day, they don’t play by the rules (see, “The Anti-Prop. 8 Mob Strikes Again[2]“).

That’s why it’s extremely interesting that Theodore B. Olson, the former U.S. Solicitor General and long-time Republican Party insider, is one of the lead attorneys arguing for repeal of Proposition 8 tomorrow. Olson’s essay is here, “The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage[3],” and there’s a video[4] as well (via Memeorandum[5]). If you read the essay, you’ll see that Olson argues mostly on the basis of constitutional law, and he states his case eloquently. But constitutional, states-rights issues are beyond what I want to address here (and I’ve handled them ad nausea previously). My basic point all along is that on a national controversy this big, it’s best to let the will of the voters prevail, for no court ruling will have the same kind of popular legititmacy as that found in a majority vote of the electorate. And gay marriage is not equivalent to Jim Crow segregation, so those arguments suggesting that only the courts[6] can bring about fundamental change are deeply flawed. The fact is, the push for gay marriage is a hate-based campaign[7]. A hardline interest-group constituency, with deep ties to the communist left, decries traditional values as based in bigotry and religious oppression. Advertisements like this below, from One Iowa[8], are in that sense deceptive in their appeals to history and values. The policy goals of such groups will by definition destroy the very history they’re purporting to uphold.

But to get an idea of how deep-seated is the left’s hatred of traditionalism, get a load of Michael Stickings’ attack[9] on Theodore Olson. Again, be sure to have read Olson’s essay and to have watched the video. Olson is deeply authentic. And recall that his wife, attorney Barbara Olson, died on Flight 77 on September 11[10] when al Qaeda terrorists drove it into the Pentagon. Here’s Stickings’ attack[11] on Olson, and thus conservatives in toto:

It is indeed extremely helpful that Ted Olson, a prominent conservative Republican legal figure, is a prominent supporter of same-sex marriage, and the “conservative case[12]” he makes for it is indeed a strong one ….

Conservative opposition to same-sex marriage, rooted in bigotry (what else?), is indeed deeply hypocritical given conservatives’ admiration of the institution of marriage, but what Olson doesn’t seem to understand, or at least to acknowledge, is that conservatism, or at least the dominant strains of contemporary conservatism, does not consider the “principle of equality” to be anything “bedrock” or “central.” If it did — if conservatives really were committed to “the revolutionary concept expressed in the Declaration of Independence” — Olson wouldn’t be such a rare exception among his own kind.

Olson has a leading voice on the right, but he’s speaking rationally inside a hurricane of irrationality and about justice to a political movement that has embraced injustice as a driving force. I admire him for this, but I fear he’ll get nowhere.

In other words, Olson’s a outlier from the bastion of evil, or something.

So, with this kind of hate-based gay rights advocacy in mind, it’s important to recall that leftists won’t stop at gay marriage. Kids will be getting “fisting” in the schools in no time, abortion on demand for young girls, and just about every other hardline-leftist agenda item you can imagine.

So just think ahead, beyond tomorrow. If we break down the traditional institution of marriage as it’s stood in this country throughout our history, we’ll break down our country itself.

In any case, see also Edwin Meese III, “Stacking the Deck Against Proposition 8[13].”

Cross-posted from American Power[14].

  1. The Coming Prop 8 Show Trial:
  2. The Anti-Prop. 8 Mob Strikes Again:
  3. The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage:
  4. a video:
  5. Memeorandum:
  6. those arguments suggesting that only the courts:
  7. a hate-based campaign:
  8. One Iowa:
  9. Michael Stickings’ attack:
  10. died on Flight 77 on September 11:
  11. Stickings’ attack:
  12. conservative case:
  13. Stacking the Deck Against Proposition 8:
  14. American Power:

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