"The court now determines that Blankenhorn's testimony constitutes inadmissible opinion testimony that should be given essentially no weight. Blankenhorn lacks the qualifications to offer opinion testimony and, in any event, failed to provide cogent testimony in support of proponents' factual assertions." - Judge Vaughn Walker
In the wake of Prop 8's dismissal and gay marriage being legal in California again, one has to ask two questions: What was the big fuss all about and what took so long?
Proposition 8 was a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution. The California State government did not defend Proposition 8 and its proponents, after having spent millions of dollars to ram Prop 8 into law, produced only two witnesses, one of them being David Blankenhorn, a lying, factually-crippled, fundamentalist baboon who was so spectacularly awful on the stand that Judge Vaughn Walker singled him out time and again in his ruling for special condemnation.
The defendants were so comically inept in proving their case that one is amazed and outraged that the trial ate up over a year and who knows how many millions of dollars that California couldn't afford to spend.
This is Blankenhorn advancing his personal values that, for over a year and a half, overturned state law and denied countless tens of thousands of gay people from getting married in California.
So, yes, a rational person must conclude it's a very good thing that gay marriage is now legal in California again and Prop H8's supporters have been sent packing and gotten their uptight asses kicked up and down Electric Avenue. But how could a faction so bereft of facts and expert testimony expunge from the books and keep off the books a law that essentially grants same sex couples the same marriage rights as heterosexuals?
Meanwhile, at the other table, the other guys produced psychologists, sociologists, historians, economists and other expert witnesses that conclusively proved to the court that, not only does gay marriage not endanger so-called traditional marriage but it can even benefit California's troubled economy. They proved that biological and adopted children can thrive in a family with same-sex parents.
Things any married gay couple with kids innately knows through experience and could've told us in far fewer words and for free.
Yet this took over a year to prove against a tidal wave of ignorant prejudice and ossified religious dogma. Where were the Mormons? Where were the money men? Where were all the fundies and Republicans who used to think this was the moral equivalent of Armageddon? And why aren't they raising a bigger fuss over their greatest victory being snatched and shoved back down the throat of defeat?
I read the entire 136 page ruling last night (not as imposing as it seems, once you close the gaps and remove the useless annotations in the document it's actually closer to 60 pages). And it struck me that, with a little bit of imagination, one can picture Judge Walker privately pinching the bridge of his nose and shaking his head at the lunacy he had to listen to for well over a year.
It brought to my mind the legendary battle between Drummond and Brady in Inherit the Wind, the film version of Jerome Lawrence's and Robert E. Lee's masterpiece. Inherit the Wind was actually a commentary on the McCarthy witch hunts of the early 50's but used as its backdrop the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 and the battle between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, the preeminent fundie windbag of his day.
On many occasions, Judge Walker had to point out that not only was the defense unprepared, they even contradicted themselves numerous times (such as admitting that gays and lesbians are subject to discrimination that is determined by political power).
The day after Prop H8 was ceremoniously tossed out, the Mexican Supreme Court upheld gay marriage in Mexico City. This in itself comes just three weeks after Argentina became the first Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage.
It would be easy to pronounce the fundies down on one knee and to predict they will not be on their feet again by the end of the ten count.
But reconsider how long it took the LGBT community to get gay marriage in even one state and how easily the fundies were able to battle the California courts for well over a year armed with nothing but dogma, ignorance and bigotry. John Scopes and Clarence Darrow lost against a tide of religious fundamentalism and Scopes was later exonerated but on a technicality.
Today as then, we still have to battle against religious fundamentalists who insist that the so-called word of God trumps all human knowledge and hard, peer-reviewed science. We need to disinherit these windbags from the continuing evolution of the human race, to be able to completely disregard them as long as they insist on subtracting from the store of human knowledge and even to discriminate against their fellow humans in their quest for moral "purity."
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