Focus on the waffle: Same date, opposite elected duty

Focus on the Family, today:

California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is making news because she said that, if elected governor, she will uphold the law. This is a headline in California.

I wonder if it’s also shocking that she will uphold the law even if it means that she will not have the support of major Hollywood stars. Shocking.

Weirdly, upholding the law is a crazy tangent from the what California voters have come to expect of current Governor Schwarzenegger and Attorney General Brown—at least as it concerns Prop. 8.



Even if a person disagrees with a law, there’s something amiss in America when elected leaders refuse to uphold the law and the will of the people. This should concern every American, not just those who support Proposition 8.

Candidate makes news with promise to uphold the law [FOtF Citizenlink]

Focus on the Family, in a piece posted a year ago to the date:

A decision not to defend a bad law is good news for marriage supporters in Wisconsin.

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen — who ordinarily would defend a duly-enacted law — announced Friday he will not defend the state’s domestic-partner law from a legal challenge brought by a pro-family group.

Under that law, which passed the Legislature and was signed by Gov. Jim Doyle earlier this year, same-sex couples began applying for domestic-partnership recognition this month. Wisconsin Family Action has asked that the registry be declared unconstitutional under the 2006 amendment that defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman.



Jim Campbell, legal counsel for ADF, said he hopes the Wisconsin Supreme Court takes note of Van Hollen’s position.

“We believe that it’s very clear here. The people of Wisconsin said that they do not want the government creating anything that is substantially similar to marriage, and that is exactly what they’ve done here,” he said.

Campbell would like to see the state’s high court strike down the law.

“It would set good precedent for other states,” he said.

Wisconsin Attorney General Will Not Defend Domestic Partnerships [FOtF Citizenlink]

So on August 24, 2009, it’s totally awesome when an elected official decides to not defend a law that he finds out of line. But on August 24, 2010, there’s apparently “something amiss in America when elected leaders refuse to uphold the law and the will of the people.” Interesting how that works.

Now, FOtF would surely argue that the only “will of the people” rests with a direct vote (as in Prop 8), and that WI voters are the ones being undermined because the legislatively-enacted DP system supposedly trumps the marriage ban they enacted at the polls. But this is of course hogwash. “The people” elect their representatives and their governor. This is how it works in America. And both that state’s legislature and that state’s governor put Wisconsin DPs into law, knowing that domestic partnerships are a separate system from marriage that do not, in any way, fool anyone into believing the two institutions are one and the same. AG Van Hollen is failing to defend the DP system because he personally thinks it’s unconstitutional, just like Jerry Brown and Gov. Schwarzenegger think Prop 8 fails the legal smell test.

Regardless of where anyone stands on the principles and facts behind the individual refusals, it’s completely errant to condemn one elected official’s right as unconscionable, while calling the other “good news” and “good precedent.” And it’s equally disingenuous to act like Meg Whitman is the calm, cool head because she sees a responsibility to defend a law as dependent more on the bare majority number that put it into place rather than the merits of the law itself.




Good As You

—  John Wright

Judge Walker Sets Aug. 18 as Date Stay is Lifted on Prop 8 Ruling

UPDATE: We now have official documents. The stay is in place until August 18, at which time couples can marry…

Walker Freedom to Marry tweeted earlier that Judge Walker had lifted the stay on his ruling striking down Proposition 8, and couples were free to marry in California, but made no mention of the delay.

The delay may give time for Prop 8 proponents to appeal the decision to the 9th Circuit court of appeals.

Ari Ezra Waldman will be providing us some analysis in just a bit.

Said Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry in a statement (that was, perhaps, a bit hasty): 

“California is now the sixth state where same-sex couples share in the freedom to marry. As the Governor, the Attorney General, and Judge Walker have all concluded, there is no good reason to continue excluding same-sex couples from marriage. Same-sex couples across California can once again share in the respect and personal significance of marriage, as well as the critical safety net of protections and responsibilities that marriage will bring to their families.

We are witnessing a growing consensus in America that loving and committed same-sex couples deserve the same respect and the same rights as everyone else. Americans on all sides of the aisle, from Laura Bush to Bill Clinton, have embraced the reality that the freedom to marry helps families, while hurting no one. As same-sex couples in California today celebrate their love, commitment, and equal protection under the law, a majority of Californians and a majority of Americans support their right to marry.”

Here's Walker's official ruling:

Final Stay Order


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

What a line!

I don’t think there is any need here to rehash the whole Constance McMillen prom drama here in this post. You all know the story.

But I have to mention it because it the basis for this column on Salon.com titled “The night I ditched my gay prom date,” and I am encouraging everyone to go read it. It looks at the whole prom drama from a slightly different angle and makes for an interesting read.

And besides, it has one of the best lines I have ever heard, right at the very end: “What the truly cool kids know is that it’s always better to dance alone than to sway in time with a roomful of bigots.”

—  admin