Friday, August 13, 2010

What Do You Call 410,000 Lawyers And A Federal Judge In Favor Of Marriage Equality?

A Start?
No, Just Serious Wounds to the ADF, the FRC, the AFA, the ACLJ 
(and all the other homophobic acronyms you can think of )

"RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges state, territorial, and tribal governments to eliminate all of their legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex who are otherwise eligible to marry."

First, the ruling of Judge Vaughn Walker, now this! OMG! The American Bar Association has just de facto legalized same-sex marriage! The largest and most influential group of legal eagles in the nation (and possibly the world) has come out with a resolution urging all governments to legalize gay marriage. It's mind-boggling! And the timing must have been intended (the Right will call it "conspiratorial"). 410,000 members! How many will resign in protest/disgust?

According to the ADF, that group of bumbling legal eagles (more like legal chickens) people are already starting to turn in their memberships, but, after all, it doesn't speak for many lawyers. Huh? ONE THIRD of U.S. lawyers are members.
“The fact that ADF and other lawyers disagree with ABA on a number of controversial issues demonstrates the gross inaccuracy of ABA’s claim that it speaks for the U.S. legal profession,” remarked ADF Senior Legal Counsel Doug Napier, who resigned from the ABA because of its stance on controversial political issues.

It must have been the word "urges" that got to them.

Anyway, the ABA is still the largest professional organization for lawyers in the country -- and the largest voluntary professional association in the world. And the ABA has one tiny modicum of clout: it accredits law schools. Did the ABA accredit Liberty University School of Law (Jerry Falwell's pet project) or Regent University Law School (Pat Robertson's territory - which buried over 150 of its graduates in George Bush's Department of Justice)? Yes, both are accredited by the ABA.

BUT (and it's a big one) the goal of the ABA is to "Eliminate bias in the legal profession and the justice system" and "Work for just laws, including human rights, and a fair legal process." 
The ABA also requires that all students at ABA-approved schools take an ethics course in professional responsibility.*
Ooops. It may be hard to prove that, say, Regent University Law School's graduates are not professionally responsible or ethical, but the ADF doesn't look like it has that kind of reputation. Especially if it is willing to have "junk science experts" testify in an important trial.

And in endorsing the right of gays to marry, the ABA is stating that it is working toward its goals of "eliminating bias" and working laws concerning human rights. So what will the ethics courses at Liberty and Regent look like from now on? They'll have to practice their rhetorical skills in finding some loophole.

It has just recently been discovered, for example, that Matt Barber, an ever-enlightened dean of Liberty will go to extreme lengths to demonize homosexuality: below is his seminar on arcrotomophilia (sexual attraction to amputees) and its evil link to ENDA. If you're amazed at what Barber can get away with, write to the ABA about Liberty's accreditation.

Hmmm, I wonder how many "philias" they'll be teaching that ALL/MOST gays have? How about: 

Nasophilia (noses) Somnophilia (sleeping people) Macrophilia (giants) Lactophilia (breast milk) Emetophilia (vomit) or the ever popular Ursusagalmatophilia (teddy bears).** Of course, Barber probably figurers that if you can spell it, you must have it. (Teabaggers are so very dull)

The California Seesaw

Considering the up-'n-down situation of same-sex marriage in California, it ought to qualify as a ride in an amusement park: it's on again...well, sort of. It's not clear. Walker declared the stay to be voided on Aug. 18th, PENDING no ability to appeal. If you've been following the trial and its decision, you know that the ABILITY to appeal is in question. The supersonic dimwit defense team of ADF will try to finagle the appeal, but they must have a solid reason, like allowing gay marriage will cause bloodshed (maybe theirs, from Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischer, etc.). Personally, I would love to see them appeal if not for anything but to see them make idiots out of themselves again. I could sell tickets! But an appeal could draw things out for another year, making SSM a hotbutton issue for November. Besides, just how much authority does a "proponent" for a group related to the state proposition have? The Christian Right will make it look like another needless nailbiter and another cause to outs "activist" judges.

Speaking of which...
Walker said on Thursday that ban proponents didn't convince him that anyone would be harmed by allowing same-sex marriages to resume...

Finally, Walker said it also appeared doubtful that the opponents of the ban have any right to appeal his decision striking down a state law that he said should have been defended by either Schwarzenegger and Brown, who both refused to do so.
Judge Walker has taken it on the chin from critics before (even from gays - consider the "Gay Olympics" fracas), but this time he is to be commended just for hanging in there and not stooping to react to critics, like Tony Perkins of the FRC:

The decision to shove Proposition 8 aside so quickly only heaps more outrage on a judge who should have never been allowed to consider the case in the first place. By lifting the "stay" on marriage licenses, he's attempting to plunge the state- and, by extension, the country--into deeper legal chaos just to satisfy his own radical agenda.
...and the following who practically considers him to be the Anti-Christ:

How Walker’s animus about Christ and Christianity was relevant to his considerations, as to the Constitution, of Proposition 8 shall be left to psychiatrists to determine, but, clearly Judge Walker used the opportunity before him to launch his personal hatred of “society,” about “heterosexuals,” about “the majority (in his ruling, Walker defined “the majority” as society and heterosexuals) and about Christianity.
But let's look at the situation this way: we scored the ABA, a federal judge (appointed by Reagan, btw), the governor of California and the Attorney General of California in a matter of weeks. Our side is beginning to look a bit heavier than theirs right now. 

They don't like it, but...tough.

* wikipedia: Typically, this is an upper-level course; most students take it in the 2L year. This requirement was added after the Watergate scandal, which seriously damaged the public image of the profession because President Richard Nixon and most of his alleged cohorts were lawyers. The ABA desired to demonstrate that the legal profession could regulate itself and hoped to prevent direct federal regulation of the profession.

**For a list of some more "philias" go to wikipedia's page.