Protect Marriage, Day 7: We Don’t Get It (And That’s Our Case)

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Apparently, Pugno had the chance to get some more spin up about yesterday’s proceedings, and he’s mad! Let’s take a look.

A Head Shaker of an Afternoon

Religious bigotry found an inordinate amount of expression in the seventh full day of testimony by the plaintiffs.  According to their witness, Stanford professor Gary Segura, the homosexual community is “politically powerless” and can point their collective finger at religion for their supposed lack of political success. The essence of their testimony is that the federal courts should make religious and moral views an illegitimate basis upon which voters make their decisions and cast their ballots. Segura took particular aim at the Catholic Church and Southern Baptists for holding religious views that, he believes, colors societal prejudices that gays and lesbians are “inferior.” He said it is almost impossible for gays to overcome the religious views of churches.

Well, Andy, mock as you may, “politically powerless” is a technical term. I don’t think this case has anything to do with what voters base their decisions on. Yesterday’s testimony was about a coalition of power built up specifically to target civil rights (and by the way, based on scientifically illegitmate points of view). I can’t help but note that Pugno intentionally omits the Church of LDS, who probably was portrayed the worst in the testimony. Is Protect Marriage trying to distance themselves from their old good friends, the Mormons?

And by the way, if you say gays and lesbians can’t raise children, aren’t you calling us “inferior” at raising children? And if you say gays and lesbians can’t honor the institution of marriage, aren’t you calling us “inferior” at committed relationships? And if you’re saying the will of the majority should determine the rights of the minority, aren’t you inherently saying we aren’t capable of speaking on behalf of ourselves? No, there are no societal prejudices that we’re “inferior.”

Upon another outstanding cross examination by Prop 8 defense attorney David Thompson, it became clear to any reasonable person that gays and lesbians have had substantial amounts of political capital in their grasp for at least the last decade, the two initiatives (Prop 8 and Prop 22) on same-sex marriage notwithstanding.

Just look away! If you take out all the bad stuff, you’re only left with good stuff! Actually, my favorite response to this claim came from the expert witness, Dr. Segura himself. He said: “It’s like saying a person with lots of prescriptions is very healthy!

Much of today felt as if the plaintiffs had dragged us down the proverbial rabbit hole into an alternate world of fantasy where up is down. In the real world, it is impossible to square the claim that homosexuals do not enjoy significant political power in California when the newly-elected Assembly Speaker is an openly gay man and numerous state and local elected officials are openly homosexual. California has extensive domestic partnership protections which provide all the legal provisions of marriage, and the Governor, Attorney General, both our United States Senators and Superintendent of Public Instruction all aggressively opposed Prop 8. In 2008, our opponents raised $43 million to attempt to defeat Prop 8 and outspent us by over $3 million.  Equality California (the state’s most influential homosexual rights lobby) secured the passage of 11 separate pieces of legislation benefitting homosexuals.  And homosexual political advocates have the support of Hollywood, labor unions, the technology sector, leaders of corporate California, and nearly every single newspaper editorial board in the state.

It’s a fantasy of an alternate world of a rabbit hole. If he didn’t write so much of it, I’d say I’m glad Pugno doesn’t write fiction.

Yes, it is wonderful that the new Assembly Speaker is an openly gay man (and thanks for using his name). Pointing this out is reinforcing Segura’s point. If you can count on one finger the number of people who are offering representative power, that’s a clear sign that they’re exceptional. In addition, most of the other folks he listed did not actively (let alone aggressively) do much of anything to oppose Prop 8. Segura pointed out that most of the 11 pieces of legislation were non-binding resolutions. And yes, a lot of those groups are supportive, but we still lost. Gosh, Andy, thanks for making our case for us! (For future reference, you can’t polish a turd.)

Add to that laundry list the fact that the United States Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is a Democrat from the most gay-friendly region of California and that there is not a single state with more anti- discrimination laws specific to homosexuals on its books.   I’m left shaking my head how a political science professor from a prestigious university reaches the conclusion that homosexuals are politically powerless in the United States, let alone California.

When you’re trying to claim we’re not inferior, comparing our progress to laundry probably doesn’t help your rosy picture much. Segura pointed out that both our President and Speaker Pelosi have been less than stellar allies. He pointed out that she has been resistant to introduce gay-friendly legislation. Apparently Pugno missed the part about how there have been over 200 referenda on gay rights, and we’ve lost about 70% of them, including all bans on same-sex marriage. What fantastical alternate rabbit hole has Pugno been living in?

Apparently Professor Segura’s conclusion that gays are politically powerless hasn’t reached the gay community itself. You’d think that a group that sees itself as powerless wouldn’t be eager to push a ballot initiative on same-sex marriage. Yet that is exactly what groups like Equality California, the Courage Campaign and others are focused on doing – if not for 2010 then for 2012.

So… Pugno wants people to have the right to vote, but only on things he likes. If referenda are used against us, it’s pretty much the only tool we have to fight back. We have to try. We have to keep fighting for our lives. Doesn’t this kind of make Pugno sound like some epic war-drama villain? The good guy keeps getting smacked down but keeps getting back up… WHY DO YOU PERSIST?! SUBMIT TO MY TYRANNY! NEVER! Freedom must prevail!!

Only down Professor Segura’s rabbit hole does the fantasy of gays lacking political power exist, leading to the conclusion that gays and lesbians are a defenseless minority entitled to extraordinary legal protection.  In the real world, gays and lesbians are one of the most powerful, effective special interest groups who wield power far in excess of their numbers. The fact that they have amassed untold millions of dollars to fund a legal team that includes dozens of lawyers and some of the nation’s top litigators to come into federal court claiming to be powerless is rich with irony.

Oh yeah, we’re so powerful. That’s why we can still be fired just for who we are in 29 states. That’s why the federal governments respects us so much as to honor our relationships the way they do straight couples.

Poor naive, conservative capitalist. You only see power as money. Someday, you’ll see that the wealthiest people are those who have freedom and happiness. It’s been almost 234 years, and some people still don’t get what Jefferson was trying to say…

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