Alliance Defense Fund: Loves domestic partnerships in Pacific time, not so much in Central

August 22, 2010 at 7:55 pm 42 comments

(P8TT friend Jeremy makes a great point on ADF’s dishonesty -Adam)

Cross-posted at Good As You

by Jeremy Hooper

As everyone is focused on the Alliance Defense Fund and the case they’ve been making against marriage equality in the California courts, we want to take a pause and look at another fight that this very same outfit has put on its legal slate. Namely: The ADF’s fight to overturn the state domestic partnership registry in Wisconsin:

MADISON, Wis. — Alliance Defense Fund attorneys together with allied attorneys representing Wisconsin Family Action officers and board members filed suit instate court Wednesday to stop the governor and state legislature from skirting a voter-approved constitutional amendment protecting marriage. The lawsuit asks the court to halt the state’s “domestic partnership” scheme because it creates a legal status substantially similar to that of marriage, which directly violates Article 13, Section 13, of the Wisconsin Constitution.

“Politicians shouldn’t defy the will of voters who legitimately amended the Wisconsin Constitution in a fair election,” said ADF Senior Counsel Brian Raum. “This domestic partnership scheme is precisely the type of marriage imitation that the constitutional amendment approved by Wisconsin voters was intended to prevent. Those who are determined to tamper with marriage in Wisconsin are attempting an end-run attack hoping they can evade the clear language of the state constitution.”

ADF files suit to stop violation of Wis. marriage amendment [ADF]

Alright, so let’s consider this. The ADF is taking on this case because they claim that domestic partnerships place an unfair burden on the institution of marriage. They claim that in “protecting marriage,” the state’s voters also intended to stop D.P.’s. Despite the easily discernible differences and limitations that disconnect D.P.’s from marriage, the ADF is building its whole case around the idea that a limited domestic partnership registry is meant to directly emulate its bigger cousin, and thus harms the “traditional marriage” side.

But now let’s move west to California. That state has one of the most expansive domestic partnership programs in all of the country. Far more expansive than the one in place in Wisconsin. But even so, it is still not marriage. Those pro-equality peeps engaged in the current fight for marriage in California have ably demonstrated that even their strong D.P.’s are a few steps away from full matrimony. Because they are.

Yet it’s not only the pro-equality side that’s demonstrated this difference: The ADF and fellow Prop 8 proponents have made a point to say that they are not opposed to domestic partnerships. That’s a major part of the pro-Prop 8 strategy: To say that gay couples don’t need marriage because they already have “most of the rights and benefits,” and that the state’s voters don’t hold animus towards gay people because they have allowed domestic partnerships to stand. And in fact, the proponents’ star witness, David Blankenhorn, very fully expanded on this idea:

BY MR. COOPER: Q. Thank you.

Mr. Blankenhorn, I would now like to turn to the last subject, and that is the issue of domestic partnerships.

And I would like to ask you what your position is on domestic partnerships?

A. I support them. I think that they could be part of a kind of a humane compromise in which, on the one hand, we protect marriage and allow it to continue to carry out its distinctive contribution to society, while at the same time extending protections and recognition to gay and lesbian couples.

I don’t think it’s a perfect solution, but I do think it’s a possibly humane compromise on this issue. And I so stated in an article that I wrote in the New York Times, I co-authored Jonathan Rauch last year.

Q. Who is Jonathan Rauch?

A. He is a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution. He is a prominent proponent of same-sex marriage and his most recent book is called Gay Marriage: Why It’s Good For Gays,Good For Straights and Good For America.

Q. And when did you publish this article you just referenced in the New York Times?

A. I think it was February of 2009.

Q. Have you always held the view that you have just articulated?

A. No. I have actually come pretty much full circle on the issue. I really — I really hadn’t thought about it very much. I was really focused on the topic of marriage and I had not given the certainly two years topic of domestic partnerships much thought. I hadn’t given it any careful consideration until about ago. There was an event in Washington D.C., a debate — we conversations now, but we called it then a debate — call them with Jonathan Rauch and he kind of publicly challenged me and called me out on this topic and said, Your thinking about domestic partnerships is immature and wrong and you have to rethink it and, you know, it’s — I have also, speaking — Jonathan said he also was evolving his position on the topic and he really challenged me in that forum to consider more carefully this idea, and I told him that I would, and I did.

And that began a kind of a journey with him personally and, also, with other leaders in the push, who were pro-same-sex marriage, where I tried to devote some real — some real time to the topic and that led then to Rauch and Iwriting the article endorsing civil unions or domestic partnerships in the New York Times.

Q. Why hadn’t you thought carefully about the issue of domestic partnerships prior to that time?

A. I didn’t really think I had — I didn’t feel that I had to think about them carefully at that time.

I — I went into my first conversations about this with a kind of — an instinctive or just a general feeling that if you set up a comparable institution to marriage, that that could have a weakening effect on marriage because — particularly if that comparable institution was open to opposite-sex couples as well, I was worried that you would have kind of a, you know, smorgasbord effect of choosing — and I thought that that diversification would possibly weaken the marital institution.

So I was — I was very concerned that that not happen, so I was personally suspicious of endorsing domestic partnerships for that reason.

And the other reason was that Rauch and the others, you know, the people that I was talking to were just very vociferous in their denunciation of civil unions and domestic partnerships. They just said it was a horrible idea; that it was discriminatory; that it was — that this was invidious; this was demeaning, two gay and lesbian people; and this was a form of unequal treatment.

And I — I accepted that view. I was strongly influenced by that view. In fact, I repeated that view. Back of the bus, you know, discriminatory and wrong and unfair.

And so for those reasons, my concerns about diluting marriage by setting up this dual institutional structure and, also, the concerns about just the — I guess you might say the un- — the unfairness, the idea that this would be discriminatory, I embraced that — I embraced both points of view, just as an initial way of thinking topic without having written or thought much about and it was really then in the meeting with Rauch in 2007 and then the next two years I tried to rethink it afresh. I tried to think about it deeply and carefully with Rauch and others and that led to the written article about the subject that I published with him last year.

Q. I take it you no longer agree with the views that you had on the subject before?

A. I still worry that domestic partnerships could — could possibly have a weakening effect on the marital institution, but I think that it’s something we should do anyway because of other issues involved, and I have satisfied myself on this question of fairness. That’s been the big issue for me, you know, personally. The issue of, is it unjust to have a domestic partnership program? That’s been really the core journey and exploration that I have undergone on that issue.

of those about the it, but —

So I — my thinking on it now is that the core principle that we can hold out for our understanding is that marriage as a social institution is larger than the sum of its legal incidents.

When we say the word “marriage,” it’s a big institution that performs a very large contribution to society and it’s much bigger, much more powerful and potent as a role in society than merely or only the enumeration of its legal incidents. Marriage predates law. Marriage is not a creature of law in the same way that other things are.

The law did not create marriage. We look to law to recognize and support marriage and to give it support, but we do not simply understand the institution only with reference to its legal incidents.

So if you look at the legal — the legal incidents of domestic partnerships and then look at the legal incidents of marriage, the fact that those legal incidents are comparable does not mean that we are looking at the same institution, the content of it.

The marital institution is differently purposed, is specifically purposed. As I have tried to say today, probably more times than you want to hear, the purpose of it is to bring together the biological male and the biological female, to bring together the two genitors of the child, to make it as likely as possible that they are also the social and legal parents of the child. That’s the loadstar. That’s the distinctive contribution. There are others, but that’s the distinctive and core contribution of the institution of marriage.

The domestic partnership institution is a differently purposed institution with respect to this bringing together — with respect to parenthood, particularly with respect to parenthood.

The parenting process in the — this loadstar notion that animates the marital institution is not the same that is operative in the domestic partnership institution.

It is discriminatory and un- — and morally wrong in my view, morally wrong to refuse to call two things that are the same by the same name. That was my — that was my — that was my — that was what the big thing I had to grapple with in my own mind to be able to look myself in the mirror.

And what I worked out with Rauch and others — I’m not saying he is responsible for my views. I’m saying that the process I’m describing of developing this proposal with Rauch, I had to be sure issue of is this in this way as a the thing that I my satisfaction.

And it myself, personally, ethnically, that this discrimination to have an institution purposed domestic partnership institution. That was had to work out, and I have worked that out to — it means a lot to me personally, but I feel that I have been able to understand this in a way that then allows me as an advocate for customary marriage to say we can have a compromise here. We don’t all get everything we want, but we all have a humane compromise on this issue.

MR. COOPER: Thank you, Mr. Blankenhorn.

BLANKENHORN — DIRECT EXAMINATION/ COOPER [Equal Rights Foundation]

This exchange was clearly built around strategy. Chuck Cooper obviously wanted to David Blankenhorn to “explain” why domestic partnerships are a fundamentally different notion. The overall idea: That those who support Prop 8 are not mean to gays or causing undue harm since they support the right of domestic partnerships. And they want to demonstrate that they also understand the difference between domestic partnerships and marriage, but that the difference is not the bad thing that LGBT activists claim it is.

So now let’s use some frequent truth-flag-flyer miles and go back to Wisconsin, where the ADF is making this case:

The scheme, proposed and signed into law by Gov. Jim Doyle after passage by the Legislature as part of the 2010-11 state budget, is available only to couples involved in a same-sex relationship. “Domestic partners” receive “declarations” instead of “marriage licenses,” but otherwise, the procedures for becoming domestic partners and becoming husband and wife are virtually the same.

In November 2006, 59 percent of Wisconsin voters approved an amendment to the state constitution that reads, “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.” In June, the Wisconsin Supreme Court unanimously upheld the validity of the entire amendment’s enactment.

“Our system of government serves no purpose if our elected officials can completely and capriciously ignore the will of the people with impunity,” said Wisconsin Family Action President Julaine Appling, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, Appling v. Doyle, filed in the Dane County Circuit Court. “A reasonable person observing this registry would easily conclude that it is intended to mirror marriage. It borrows the requirements and eligibility standards for marriage, even to the point of requiring that the price of the registry certificate be the same as for a marriage license.”

ADF files suit to stop violation of Wis. marriage amendment [ADF]

So wait — why are Wisconsin D.P.’s, which are so much more quasi- than California’s variety, all of a sudden presented as something that’s “intended to mirror marriage”? Both were approved by state legislatures and signed into law by state governors. So why are the ADF and fellow Prop 8 proponents all about putting David Blankenhorn on the stand to call California’s sweeping domestic partnerships “a differently purposed institution” that doesn’t undermine the voters, yet just as eager to put Julaine Appling in the spotlight to claim that elected officials are “capriciously ignor[ing] the will of the people with impunity”? If domestic partnerships are different (which they are, but not in the way or for the reasons that David Blankenhorn states), then why are they all of a sudden “just marriage by another name” when the ADF leaves San Francisco and heads to Milwaukee?

We obviously know the answers to those questions (Opportunism, politics, public polling, etc.). Now it’s up to all of us to start connecting the dots of this politically-motivated, shifty, hypocrisy-laden, disingenuous legal game that the ADF calls strategy.

Entry filed under: Trial analysis.

The value of non-marriage relationship recognition Alliance Defense Fund: Loves A.G. refusals in Central time, not so much in Pacific

42 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 22, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    ADF is using the same smoke and mirrors scheme in Wisconsin that Governor LIngle used in Hawai’i to veto the CU law there. And anybody with any common sense knows that this argument is as full of excrement as a Thanksgiving turkey!

    Reply
    • 2. Sagesse  |  August 23, 2010 at 6:19 am

      The more they contradict themselves on this the better. They will get all caught up and trip over their own feet on this one.

      “They have ‘everything but marriage’ in DP’s, so we don’t need to give them marriage.”

      “But….. if they have ‘everything but marriage’, what’s the harm in giving them the word?”

      “Er… uhhmmmm…”

      It would seem, however, that the Wisconsin amendment, unlike Hawaii or California, has wording to address DP’s as well as marriage.

      Reply
  • 3. Kathleen  |  August 22, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    not really here

    Reply
    • 4. Ann S.  |  August 22, 2010 at 8:17 pm

      I’m about half here.

      Reply
      • 5. ĶĭŗîļĺęΧҲΪ  |  August 23, 2010 at 2:32 am

        Sub-sub-subscribing :D

        Reply
    • 6. JonT  |  August 23, 2010 at 1:40 pm

      We have never been at war with Eurasia, we have always been at war with Oceania.

      (subscribing with a little Orwellian flair in honor of the ADF).

      Reply
  • 7. Carpool Cookie  |  August 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    It’s almost impossible for me to read the comments of Mr. Blankenhorn (who did his thesis on English Cabinet Makers’ Guilds of the 18th Century, BTW) in their entirety.

    Reading his loooong, drifting answers on the stand in the trial transcripts made me want to smash my head against the wall repeatedly, just to erase the sound of his endless droning.

    Thankfully, I lived to tell the tale, but I bet the number of people jumping from ledges with their hands over their ears went up markedly after the transcripts were released…and we should definitely check if the court reporter had to be sent to a sanitarium for some “rest cure”. Have they recovered yet?

    Reply
    • 8. Linda  |  August 22, 2010 at 8:35 pm

      @Carpool—

      Ha!!!! Well put! I wonder if Blankenhorn can understand his own drivel.

      And that was their best witness!

      Reply
  • 9. Bolt  |  August 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    The christianist ADF are a bunch of assholes. I expect the majority on the SCOTUS to humiliate them, and deal a lethal blow to their twisted practice.

    Reply
  • 10. Paul  |  August 22, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    Actually this seems rather consistent (hateful, but consistent). We don’t need marriages in California because we have DPs, which are equivalent (in their mind). If they’re equivalent, then they are forbidden under the Wisconsin amendment. Where is the inconsistency?

    Reply
    • 11. Steve  |  August 22, 2010 at 10:32 pm

      Except the WI DPs don’t go anywhere near far enough as the CA DPs.

      But the main point is that time and again, the folks claim that they are really in favor of gay people. They want them to have some rights. Just don’t call it marriages. But then they fight even the very limited rights a WI DP offers.

      Reply
  • 12. PamC  |  August 22, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    The inconsistency is in their legal arguments: in CA, DP’s are much different from marriage, so the haters are happy with them (rather than marriage). In WI, according to the haters, the DP’s are “almost marriage,” and so they’re unhappy with them & oppose DP’s.

    They’re trying to support & oppose DP’s at the same time, for the same political end: undermining our relationships.

    Reply
    • 13. Michelle Evans  |  August 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm

      Oh, I doubt very much that the hateros would be happy with DPs in the long run. They have shown repeatedly (Hawaii and Wisconsin, to name a couple) that in the end they want no same gender relationships to be legally recognized. If they were eventually able to uphold Prop 8, you can bet that somewhere down the line they would use the exact same strategy in CA to try to destroy DPs, too.

      Reply
      • 14. PamC  |  August 22, 2010 at 9:57 pm

        @Michelle — I totally agree, that’s part of their long term plan. I was just trying to summarize the article for Paul.

        Also, sorry re: using apostrophes for plurals. ;-/

        Reply
  • 15. Linda  |  August 22, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    It seems that Wisconsin was careful to write their amendment so that it restricted marriage to OS couples, AND prohibited any sort of DP or CU (that was comprehensive enough to be of benefit) for SS couples.

    Tyranny of the majority in action, folks.

    Reply
  • 16. mark  |  August 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks for this fantastic blog!

    Apostrophes should *never* be used to create plurals. So the correct spelling is “D.P.s” or “DPs” (never D.P.’s or DP’s). :-)

    Reply
    • 17. Jeremy Hooper/G-A-Y  |  August 23, 2010 at 5:48 am

      Actually, when periods are part of the initialism, apostrophes are often used to set apart the “s.” See the NYT’s pluralization of Ph.D.’s

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/07/arts/07grad.html

      Although the Times has recently changed their style rules, eliminating the periods and the apostrophes in most cases:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/29/business/media/29asktheeditors.html?pagewanted=13

      That being said: I hate the way it looks too. In fact, I almost never do it, usually writing DPs without periods or apostrophes. Not sure why I did it that way in this piece.

      Reply
    • 18. adambink  |  August 23, 2010 at 6:17 am

      Long as we’re on corrections. slight one here mark: Jeremy’s piece is a blog post, not a blog.

      Blog : blog post :: newspaper :: article.

      P8TT is a blog, Alliance Defense Fund piece is a blog post.

      Thanks for humoring my pet peeve! :)

      Reply
  • 19. Alyson  |  August 22, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    How are all these state supreme courts (ours included -CA) not seeing through this crap. I can’t belive the Wisconsin supreme court saw no problem with that language and that amendment. Iowa so far is the only one with any sense they I know about and now they are going after them.

    Reply
    • 20. Michelle Evans  |  August 22, 2010 at 9:49 pm

      The reason they’re not seeing through all the garbage is that the religious right is trying to control everything, and they are doing a pretty good job of it so far. Look at what happened in New York and New Jersey. Both states were very near to passing same gender marriage laws in their legislatures, yet they literally had the fear of god thrown at them in the form of: “Pass this law and we will vote you all out.”

      They ran away scared and won’t come back until the witch hunts are over. And when you look at how it is going, I only semi-facetiously say that there are very clear parallels to 1692 Salem in their tactics.

      Reply
    • 21. Sagesse  |  August 23, 2010 at 6:27 am

      If I recall, the Wisconsin SC was asked to rule on whether the amendment had more than one ‘thing’ in it (marriage and DP), which is not allowed. They upheld that it was not asking voters to vote on two separate ideas, not on the ‘ideas’ themselves.

      Sort of like the California court upheld that the CA ballot rules permit voters to enact Prop 8 to make marriage equality unconstitutional, not that the CA court was wrong when it ruled Prop 22 unconstitutional before Prop 8.

      Headache.

      Reply
  • 22. OldCoastie  |  August 22, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    grifters, making sure the paycheck continues…

    Reply
  • 23. Kalbo  |  August 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Hawaii should have had civil unions this year, but the same coalition for Prop 8 got the governor to veto the measure (House was 3 votes shy of an override).

    This exposes their veiled bigotry, I think. They say they want to protect the word ‘marriage’ but that’s not it at all; they want to deny us our rights.

    If you want to see a futile discussion with a Mormon, check out the comments here. I specifically asked him about the CU issue, and he doesn’t deny it.

    http://gayrights.change.org/blog/view/the_gops_war_on_gays_and_marriage_equality#comment_form

    Reply
    • 24. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  August 22, 2010 at 10:45 pm

      Please know that not all Mormons think that way. There at least 2 of us on the site who have gay sons and want them to be able to live their life as is best for them, not what our religion believes. Also, a great site to visit for more Mormons who support equality is Mormonsformarriage.com. That’s where I first met Fiona. And, Carol Lynn Pearson is a Mormon who has been for LGBT rights for many years. her story of her marriage to a gay Mormon is “Good-bye I Love You.” After that is “No More Good-Byes.” and finally, her play “Facing East.” So, while we may be in the minority, we do exist and we will do all that we can to change how people within the church think. I get really annoyed when that Proclamation is used as a reason for the church to have pushed its members to be involved with the passing of Prop 8.

      Sheryl, a Mormon Mother

      Reply
      • 25. Tigger  |  August 23, 2010 at 1:19 am

        Thanks Sheryl,

        I would hope that all mom’s of gay kids would want to promote self-esteem as well as stable, loving & monogamous relationships for their kids regardless of religion.

        But, then again, there’s always the insecurity, self-hatred, and promiscuity that’s a direct result of many of religious parent’s words and actions… Can’t imaging this is what Jesus would want though..

        Thanks for choosing love over fear!

        Reply
      • 26. Richard A. Walter (soon to be Walter-Jernigan)  |  August 23, 2010 at 6:13 am

        And Sheryl, I wonder how many rank and file Mormons are even aware that President Momson and the others at the top violated Section 134 of the Doctrines and Covenants by doing that? Yes, thanks to the post with the link in it, I went and printed that out. I really wonder how many other Mormons realize that these men at the top twisted the principles of faith to make it easier for them to collude with other top level power brokers in the Catholic and Evangelical communities to bring this travesty about.

        Reply
      • 27. adambink  |  August 23, 2010 at 8:05 am

        A good test

        Reply
      • 28. Sheryl, Mormon Mother of a wonderful son who just happens to be gay  |  August 23, 2010 at 1:04 pm

        Richard, I’m sure most active Mormons are well aware of Section 134 of the D&C (scripture study rotates every 4 years, so that if you have been a member (and attend Sunday School) you have studied the D&C. However, not sure if it is scripture or if we are just taught that we should always follow the prophet because he will not lead us astray; however, on the off chance that he is speaking as a man and not as the prophet, we will not be punished for following his advice. Then, of course, we are taught to think, ponder, and prayer for answers. Guess I take some things too literally, perhaps I’m not supposed to think, ponder, and pray about things the prophet tells us. So, I think a large majority of Mormons will do what the prophet says without questioning.

        Reply
    • 29. Dave in CA  |  August 23, 2010 at 12:05 am

      Don’t forget Maggie’s little Christmas email thread, in which she told Jeremy (Goodasyou.org) that she hoped to get him divorced:

      http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2009/12/a-maggie-little-christmas.html

      If you haven’t read that one, it’s worth a look-see.

      When all is said and done, their reasoning, as expressed by Charles Cooper, is that since some straight folks can’t be trusted to behave themselves procreation-wise, it therefore follows that gays must not get married.

      That’s like Mom saying, “if you don’t behave, I am going to send your step-brother to bed without supper.”

      Reply
  • 31. AndrewPDX  |  August 22, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    Late to the subscribing party

    Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
    Andrew

    Reply
  • 32. Lightning Baltimore  |  August 23, 2010 at 12:06 am

    As has already been said, no doubt they’ll go after DPs, if Prop 8 is upheld,

    They will not be satisfied until marriage, DPs and CUs are all banned.

    But not really . . .

    If they achieved that nationwide, next would be removing legal protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, nationwide.

    Then, recriminalization of sodomy, but only between members of the same sex.

    They won’t be happy until we are all dead. Since we spontaneously generate, however, we will never be gone, and they will never be happy.

    Luckily, the chance of either group being wiped out is stacked against them, since hatred is learned but sexual orientation and gender identity come from within.

    Reply
    • 33. PhillyKarl  |  August 23, 2010 at 4:01 am

      You are 100% correct. This fight has NEVER been about protecting marriage. It has ALWAYS been about protecting humanity from the “abomination” of gays. They want every one of us locked away. Oh sure, they’ll let Elton John out for weekend concerts, but he has to be back in his cell before Monday morning. Same with Ellen Degeneres. And the sexy lesbians (LINO’s) can still make porn, of course. But the exceptions are few and far between.

      Reply
    • 34. JonT  |  August 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      …since hatred is learned but sexual orientation and gender identity come from within.

      Yes indeed. Perhaps one day we can pass laws making it illegal to teach hatred.

      That would be fun! :)

      Reply
      • 35. Marlene  |  August 24, 2010 at 7:09 pm

        Once again, I refer to the song “You Have To Be Carefully Taught” from the Rogers & Hammerstein musical, South Pacific

        Reply
  • […] is Jeremy’s follow-up to his great piece regarding ADF’s dishonesty, which was posted last night. See also a related piece I did on conservative pushback regarding Brown/Schwarzenegger’s […]

    Reply
  • 37. Leo  |  August 23, 2010 at 6:49 am

    If they wanted to, could the Wisconsin state defendants raise a defense that the super-DOMA amendment violates the federal constitution (at least to the extent it prohibits domestic partnerships)? Or would they have no standing because they are not the ones being discriminated against? Would they need to remove the lawsuit to a federal court?

    Reply
    • 38. Kathy  |  August 25, 2010 at 8:36 am

      Leo, I’m not an attorney, but I’m familiar with the WI case, so I’ll try to answer. The case is Appling, et. al. vs Doyle, et. al., Doyle being the governor & the other named defendants being state officials. So the defendants here are not the ones being discriminated against. They are the ones who put the very limited DPs in place, legislatively, which Appling and her team are saying violates the discrimination amendment. (They like to call it the marriage amendment but I prefer to call it as it really is.)

      I haven’t seen any briefs for the case yet, so I’m curious as to how the plaintiffs will try to argue that they have any standing to bring such a lawsuit. Injuries to them? I don’t see how the DP caused any. And the state supreme court refused to take the case directly, meaning that it would not allow it to bypass the lower courts. As we’ve seen in the Prop 8 trial, higher courts deal with cases that have findings of fact. There were none for this case, so Appling and her merry band are going to circuit court to try to establish some.

      As for the defendents challenging the amendment on federal equal protection terms, we’ll have to see what their brief says. But the onus is on the plaintiffs to 1) prove they have standing and 2) prove that the DPs WI has are “substantially similar to marriage”–a term that was never defined throughout the whole amendment process.

      I think both of those things will be tough to prove, but what do I know? I also thought that the amendment DID ask two separate questions, but the WI Supremes said otherwise and now we get to live with that.

      Reply
  • 39. Dave T  |  August 23, 2010 at 8:03 am

    As others have said, it’s not about protecting marriage from the gays, it’s about stuffing gays back into the closet (or exterminating them, if they could).

    That said, I see the difference in their approach between Wisconsin and California as a positive thing – they know they can’t possibly roll back California’s DPs and they know they’re hanging on to marriage by their fingernails (and about to lose it entirely). Having Blankenhorn testify that DPs are a good thing was merely their (feeble) attempt to appear reasonable – they couldn’t make their case convincing, so they tried desperately to give Judge Walker a reason to say “these are reasonable people presenting a compromise that we can all live with”. He didn’t buy it, of course.

    Ultimately, they’re damaging their own credibility with this sort of double-standard. It reveals them as the opportunistic, unprincipled hypocrites that they are.

    Reply
  • 40. MJFargo  |  August 23, 2010 at 8:29 am

    Very nice article on the standing issue in The New Yorker:

    http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2010/08/30/100830taco_talk_davidson

    Reply
  • 41. Marlene  |  August 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    The track record of these theocratic fascists hiding behind the bible have a lousy track record in court!

    Recently, they’re 0-2 in trying to force graduate counseling programs at Michigan State and Augusta State into giving two fundamentalist students the special right to pass their program even though they violate it by claiming so-called “reparative therapy” is valid and legitimate.

    Reply
  • […] Alliance Defense Fund: Loves domestic partnerships in Pacific time … […]

    Reply

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