Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Congratulations to my LGBT brothers and sisters in Washington, DC!!!!

So, after filing suit last November, opponents of same-sex marriage have been dealt a serious upper-cut with this - Chief justice denies stay of District's same-sex marriage law.  Now, all those who waited, can start applying for licenses tomorrow!  For now.

Since Congress didn't act within the 30-day required time period after the bill passed first reading on December 15th, their only recourse to keep the bill from becoming law was through the courts - where their suit still remains - awaiting consideration by the D.C. Court of Appeals.  The bases of their suit?  The people of D.C. have a right to vote on whether they want same-sex marriage or not and that marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman (sound familiar?). 

Unlike California's Proposition 8, D.C.'s law was passed in an 11-2 vote by the City Council.  Then, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics denied their request for a ballot initiative to ban same-sex marriage - and opponents filed suit.

But with no decision from the court, and the law going into effect this Wednesday, they went to the Supreme Court yesterday and filed for the stay that was denied by Chief Justice Roberts today, basically refusing to have the entire Supreme Court hear it.  But Roberts made it very clear that this is not yet completely over:

"Petitioners argued that this action was improper, because D.C. Council legislation providing that a referendum is not required cannot trump a provision of the D.C. Charter specifying that a referendum is required," Roberts wrote...

...And he said that although the time for a referendum on the law will have passed, the group can still pursue a ballot initiative.

"The request for an initiative will not become moot when the act becomes law," Roberts wrote. "On the contrary, the D.C. Court of Appeals will have the chance to consider the relevant legal questions on their merits, and petitioners will have the right to challenge any adverse decision through a petition for certiorari in this Court at the appropriate time."
So, the decision - on whether the voters have a say - falls to the D.C. Court of Appeals trier of fact and/or law (depending on how the case is heard).  Let's not forget same-sex marriage was legal in California and Maine, before it wasn't.

Interestingly, Catholic Charities has made good on at least one previous threat.  Yesterday, they notified their workers that they were changing their health benefits coverage to exclude new, and not already enrolled "spouses" of their employees - Same-sex marriage leads Catholic Charities to adjust benefits:
"We looked at all the options and implications," said the charity's president, Edward J. Orzechowski. "This allows us to continue providing services, comply with the city's new requirements and remain faithful to the church's teaching."
And, keep that approximately $22 million in city contracts. Just sayin'. 

Is it me? Or are they making some subtle assumptions with this move?

Anyway.  Even though council member Alexander's amendment, allowing individuals to refuse to provide services for same-sex marriages based on their religious beliefs, was not included in the final bill - allowances were made for "religious organizations" to say "No" to performing and/or providing a place for same-sex weddings.  Still sounds discriminatory to me - but who am I?

So-o-o, congrats again people!!!  Fill out those license applications and get ye to the court on time!!!

In a related development, it seems the Changeling is already looking to 2012 and the LGBT vote according to this - Obama to repeal Bush ‘provider conscience’ regulations:

The Bush administration rule was quickly challenged in federal court by several states and medical organizations. As a candidate, President Barack Obama criticized the regulation and campaign aides promised that if elected, he would review it.

Late last week the White House released a statement saying that Obama supports a “carefully crafted” conscience clause – not Bush’s version.
It'll be interesting to see what "carefully crafted" really means. And while he's repealing, why not just repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell instead of all this long, drawn-out studying and polling? Nah, probably saving that one until closer to re-election time.


ea said...

I thought the provider clause was about denying prescribed medical treatment--which frankly is practicing medicine without a license and illegal in every state. But as long as it is about denying women care, it is A-OK!

Cinie said...

Look for Bernice King to pop up soon rubber stamping black community homophobia while carrying the Civil Rights banner on behalf of the black Christian conservatives in service to the religious right.

Just in time to compliment her cousin, Alveda, currently providing the same service and imprimatur to the same forces and their anti-choice agenda.

And, while their input is being framed as something new, unfortunately, both have been actively pushing the respective agendas of the right wing for years.

Deb said...

ea...I know - same thing for the LGBT community which Catholic Charitiues has helped along by dropping health benefits for spouses - gay or straight. :smdh:

Cin...I'll be on the look-out - and I'll write about her too (despite my wishful thinking). This "womb-lynching," like "high-tech lynching," seems nothing but a dog-whistle to the Black community to cover up the actions of the whistlers. No, forced sterilization in our community is no myth. But that article and its links, are scary and sad manipulations on so many levels - I don't even know where to begin. Remember my legs-in-the-stirrups story? Different I know, but the same - women not having the right to choose for themselves. :smdh: - again.

Cinie said...

Deb, the mental image you created with the "legs-in-the-stirrups" story is forever seared into my brain, for better or worse. Good thing my mind's-eye POV is from behind the exam table, huh?

That aside, I'm not sure about "forced sterilization" thing; I'd say it's more like, "the choice of no choice." Like you said, there are so many things wrong in that campaign that it's hard to know where to start, but basically, it seems to me like a case of treating a tumor with a BandAid, then blaming the BandAid when the patient dies.

Deb said...

"Good thing my mind's-eye POV is from behind the exam table, huh?"

Yeah it is. Heh, heh, heh! :-)

"That aside, I'm not sure about "forced sterilization" thing; I'd say it's more like, "the choice of no choice."

I was referring to the "Black Stork" shit of the early to mid-1900s and the "Mississippi appendectomies" of Fannie Lou Hamer's day.

Going to the doctor to have a "knot in her stomach" removed and ending up, unconscious and splayed while a white, male doctor (the cousin of the plantation owner where she share-cropped) took the "knot" (it's said it was a fibroid tumor) and all the rest of her shit out - she didn't have any choice at all, IMO. She didn't even know it had happened until the cook, who heard it from Miss Ann, told it to Hamer's cousin.

But, I hear what you're saying though. From then to now - "the choice of no choice" continues.

"... it seems to me like a case of treating a tumor with a BandAid, then blaming the BandAid when the patient dies."

Perfect analogy!

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