Thursday, January 7, 2010

Playing the Victim, as always

On Wednesday, Judge Walker (right) denied a request to televise live the court trial that might lead to a ruling of unconstitutionality of Proposition 8.  This was a disappointment to Prop 8 opponents; they had hoped the hearings would be televised live in real time.  Instead, Judge Walker has agreed to run the tapes of th trial about two hours delayed on youtube so citizens can see democracy in action.

Although I am not happy with the ruling -- why the delay?  why the opportunity to edit the proceedings? -- I can see it as a compromise.  However, those opposed to marriage equality, led by Maggie Gallagher (left), are up in arms.  Here's a direct quote from her from
But this is no ordinary trial. This is a trial in a case where thousands of ordinary citizens have already faced a wave of hatred for participating in democracy. On Oct. 22, the Heritage Foundation released a report titled "The Price of Prop. 8," which concluded that "supporters of Proposition 8 in California have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, at least one death threat, and gross expressions of anti-religious bigotry."
To deliberately and needlessly expose these people to a new wave of publicity and attacks by televising the trial is outrageous
Full disclosure: As the president of the National Organization for Marriage, which created a ballot initiative committee -- NOM California -- that worked with Protect Marriage, I was intimately involved in putting Prop. 8 on the ballot. So I know dozens of people who have been personally threatened, some of whom still live in fear today when they walk outside their door as a result of an organized effort to distribute personal addresses of donors to Prop. 8. NOM is involved in a separate federal lawsuit to protect donors' constitutional rights in future marriage amendment battles
At stake in this case is not only the future of marriage in all 50 states, but the future of democracy, the future of fair play, ordinary decency and common sense. Not to mention a little thing like constitutional limits on the power of judges
After Prop. 8, gay couples continue to enjoy unmolested all the legal civil rights of marriage under California law through civil unions. Who will stand up for the core civil rights of the people of California and the rest of the USA to participate in democracy without fear?
Certainly not Judge Vaughn Walker.

Make no mistake: this is a PR plan to portray a group of heterosexuals as hate crime victims of LGBT people.  No doubt there were some tensions between supporters of Prop 8 and opponents.  But can anyone seriously state -- with hard evidence -- that there is even a remote similarity between what LGBT people go through daily in facing hostility -- verbal and physical -- and what Maggie Gallagher's followers experience?

Get real, here.  As in so many other issues argued between the right and the left, the compromise is always agreed upon by the left.  The right simply refuses to budge.

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