Saturday, August 14, 2010

I Ain't No Lawyerin' Type...

...But I do live on the east coast in an elitist Blue enclave, so obviously--arugula and fine Bordeaux in hand; condescending smirk on face--I'm qualified to comment on the legal question that has arisen from Prop H8ers' failed dreams to never, ever again have to imagine two bearded men kissing.

(Why does that image keep popping up? By the power of Christ! Christ...who had a did St., I wonder what Jesus really meant when he was talking about putting his church on Peter's rock...agh! there's that image again!)

The question now is whether the H8ers have "standing" to bring an appeal. Among other judicial questions, the H8ers must demonstrate that they are directly injured by Judge Walker's repeal of the law, as only injured parties may sue. Someone has to demonstrate that a given law actively violates their rights.

For simplicity, think Rosa Parks. Rosa couldn't have just claimed a seat at the front of her sister's kitchen table and called it done when her brother-in-law told her to move. She had to go sit her butt where it was going to be actively disenfranchised.

With that in mind, I find all the handwringing about how the denial of standing is the equivalent of "winning on a technicality"--as opposed to on the merits--deeply wrongheaded. For me, the idea of standing goes directly to the heart of the thing: the bigots have long hung their case on the idea that gay marriage somehow threatens heterosexual unions. But if they can't even summon the evidence for standing, if they can't summon evidence that someone's--anyone's!--personal, straight marriage is demonstrably and directly harmed, then the very heart of their argument is voided.

That is the farthest thing from a technicality that I can imagine.

After all, if no one is injured by marriage equality, why outlaw it?

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