Tuesday, May 20, 2008

You know the preacher likes the cold
A brief history of the courts and the religious right on gay marriage

From your blogstress's fellow traveler, In These Times columnist Hans Johnson, comes this informative analysis of California Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage last week in the nation's most populous state. Here's a taste:

Sixty years ago, against a steep and contrary bent of public opinion, the same court upheld the right of a Mexican American woman, Andrea Perez, to marry her African-American sweetheart, Sylvester Davis, in Los Angeles. It took two decades for the U.S. Supreme Court to finally follow California’s lead and nix all such bans on interracial marriages.

In the current marriage case, Carlos Moreno, the court’s sole Latino justice, and two others joined the ruling by George, an appointee of former Republican governor Pete Wilson. George became the court’s chief justice the very month (May 1996) that fellow Californian Anthony Kennedy, a Reagan appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court, confounded religious conservatives by striking down an antigay amendment to the Colorado constitution. The measure aimed to obliterate and forever outlaw any protection in any area of life against antigay bias, no matter how severe. Kennedy countered with simple declarative grace that even a majority of voters cannot make gay people "strangers to the law."

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