Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NOM's no good, stinky bad day

I am presently in a hotel room in Minnesota gearing up, putting on the armor and making battle plans. God I love this stuff.

While I was on a plane to Minnesota, the National Organization for Marriage - and those opposing marriage equality - was getting a small degree of kismet for all of their nasty ramblings and such over the years.

First, to the surprise of no one, federal judge James Ware said no to the motion from Prop 8 supporters that the judgement against them by former judge Vaughn Walker should be overturned on the grounds that he is gay and in a long-term relationship:

In his 19-page decision – a response to the first attempt in the nation to disqualify a judge based on sexual orientation – Ware had a bigger message. Gay judges, he said, are just like minority and female jurists: They can be impartial, too, even in cases that might affect them.

"We all have an equal stake in a case that challenges the constitutionality of a restriction on a fundamental right," he wrote. "The single characteristic that Judge Walker shares with the plaintiffs, albeit one that might not have been shared with the majority of Californians, gave him no greater interest in a proper decision on the merits than would exist for any other judge or citizen."

. . ."The presumption that Judge Walker, by virtue of being in a same-sex relationship, had a desire to be married that rendered him incapable of making an impartial decision, is as warrantless as the presumption that a female judge is incapable of being impartial in a case in which women seek legal relief," he wrote.

Of course folks are going to try to appeal it so I say go ahead, waste your money.

This ruling is like winning an Oscar after months of knowing that you are the front runner. You know you are going to win, but it's still nice as hell to stop on that stage and receive the award.

The second item pertains to New York. It would seem that all of NOM's hyperbole, lies, and playing groups against one another may backfire (finally) in the organization's face because at press time, the New York Senate is one vote away from allowing same-sex marriage in the state:

New York is within a single vote of legalizing gay marriage after a second Republican state senator said on Tuesday that he would support the measure should it come to the floor this week.

The senator, Roy J. McDonald, from the capital region, made his comments to reporters amid growing indications that Republican leaders would bring the bill to an up-or-down vote on Thursday or Friday.

Three other Republican state senators, speaking on condition of anonymity because their conference had not yet formally debated the measure, said they believed the bill was almost certain to come up for a vote and that it would likely pass, making New York the sixth, and largest, state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.

The vote tally in the State Senate now stands at 31 of 62 members, with one more vote needed to approve the law. The Assembly has passed the measure several times before and is likely to do so again this week if the Senate moves ahead.

Let us all pray and keep our fingers crossed that this turns out excellent for the lgbt community. I think this could very well happen.

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NOM's pathetic smear campaign against Judge Vaughn Walker

Editor's note - Today will be extremely touch and go while I travel to Netroots Nation. I was the recipient of a scholarship to attend the event and will be traveling by plane today to Minneapolis. Subsequently, I probably won't be posting as much today. However, when I get there, expect more postings than usual from me.

It's no clue where NOM stands on the attempt by Prop 8 supporters to vacate the ruling against the law by former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker on the grounds that he is is gay and in a relationship:

CitizenLink: Why Judge Walker Should Have Stepped Down

Justice Alito Recuses, Judge Walker Excuses

Second Legal Ethics Expert: Judge Walker Ought To Have Disclosed His Partnership with a Man

Ed Whelan on Prop 8 Opponents’ Anti-Black Bigotry Against Judge Deciding Motion to Vacate Walker’s Ruling

Apparently NOM is throwing everything at this case but the kitchen sink. However, it doesn't look good for them or the folks who want the judge to vacate the ruling:

At the end of Monday's 3-hour long oral arguments, District Court Judge James Ware said he hoped to have a written ruling on the motion to have Judge Vaughn Walker's Prop 8 ruling vacated "within 24 hours".

The bottom line issue: Did Judge Walker have a duty to recuse himself from the Prop. 8 trial or at the very least disclose he was in a same sex relationship. Prop. 8 lawyers say that left him "in the same shoes" as the two same sex couples before him, with a direct personal interest in the outcome of the case.

Both sides more or less stuck to their pre-trial briefing. Judge Ware homed in on whether the standard for recusal is subjective or objective -- and how a personal interest differed from a financial interest.

There was some fun back and forth with Judge Ware and Prop. 8 attorney Charles Cooper about relationships. Cooper asserted that people in a 10-year relationship like Walker's would "ordinarily have an interest in marriage." Ware: "Isn't that an assumption -- not all long term relationships lead to marriage." Cooper said only long term platonic relationships are not assumed to head toward marriage.

Ware asked repeatedly: "Do you have evidence Judge Ware was interested in marriage? Or are you saying the fact that he didn't disclose it is evidence that he wanted to get married." Then, "how does failure to disclose his relationship indicate he wanted to get married?"

Ware noted that Cooper never answered the question, which could well come back to haunt him.
Ware, who is African American, asked if a reasonable person thought a Black judge couldn't be impartial on a civil rights case was that sufficient for a judge to recuse? Cooper said it was not.

Then Ware asked: Is there anything about being in a same sex relationship that would cause a reasonable person to conclude that a judge could not be unbiased.

Ware also asked if a female judge who had been raped should have to disclose that in a trial about sexual assault.

The line of questioning strongly suggests Judge Ware will reject the Motion  to vacate Judge Walker's decision.

Here is the thing to remember, however - NOM is doing a lot of talking NOW, but why didn't the organization testify DURING the Prop 8 trial?

Probably because no intelligent judge would buy that "gays want to steal the innocence of children" trash that they funnel to voters.

Related post: 
Marriage Equality - Simple answers to NOM's complicated lies

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