10 states not known for their gay-friendliness are mightily nervous about last month's federal court ruling that deemed California's Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional.
Why? If the Proposition 8 decision stands as it goes through the federal appeals process, other gay marriage bans may be swatted down and Adam and Steve will soon be getting hitched in any state across the nation. For anti-gay folk, that prospect is terrifying.
According to the Associated Press, official knuckle-heads in Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming filed an amicus brief on Friday, telling the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that Joan and Annie have no rights under the U.S. Constitution to get married, and that states have the right to keep them from legally saying, “I do.”
“If public affirmation of anyone and everyone's personal love and commitment is the single purpose of marriage, a limitless number of rights claims could be set up that evacuate the term marriage of any meaning,” the brief reportedly states.
That line refers to the worn-out, even offensive, argument that reasons that if gay marriage is legalized, Farmer John will ultimately be allowed to legally marry his pet goat Bessy … the 10 states were just a little more subtle in their wording.
We went to the Ninth Circuit's web site to see exactly whose names are attached to this tired gibberish — the Associated Press reports that Wyoming Attorney General Bruce Salzburg is one such person — but the brief has yet to published.
We do know, however, of two politicians right here in California who would defend Proposition 8: California Attorney General candidate Steve Cooley, the Republican Los Angeles County District Attorney, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.
Unlike their Democratic opponents — attorney general candidate Kamala Harris and gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown — who said they would never defend the ballot measure because it discriminates against a group of people, Cooley and Whitman say they feel the need to defend the “will of the people.”
Whatever fine distinctions they like to make, Cooley and Whitman now join the un-gay-friendly company of pro-Prop. 8 Virginia, where Governor Bob McConnell recently stripped away anti-discrimination protections for the state's gay and lesbian workers.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II followed that lead and asked state colleges and universities to also end job protections for gay and lesbian employees.
In December, the Ninth Circuit will hear oral arguments from both sides of the Proposition 8 federal lawsuit.
Contact Patrick Range McDonald at firstname.lastname@example.org.