If a story like this doesn’t convince you of the moral rectitude of marriage equality, then your heart is blacker than sackcloth:
Clay Greene and his partner of 20 years, Harold Scull, lived in Sebastopol, California. As long-time partners, they had named each other beneficiaries of their respective estates and agents for medical decisions. As 2008 began, Scull was 88 years old and in deteriorating health. Greene, 11 years younger, was physically strong, but beginning to show signs of cognitive impairment. As Scull’s health declined, it became apparent that they would need assistance, but the men resisted outside help. In April of 2008, Scull fell down the front steps of their home. Greene immediately called an ambulance and Scull was taken to the hospital. There, the men’s nightmare began.
While Scull was hospitalized, Deputy Public Guardians went to the men’s home, took photographs, and commented on the desirability and quality of the furnishings, artwork, and collectibles that the men had collected over their lifetimes. Ignoring Greene entirely, the County petitioned the Court for conservatorship of Scull’s estate. Outrageously referring to Greene only as a “roommate” and failing to disclose their true relationship, the County continued to treat Scull as if he had no family. The County sought immediate temporary authority to revoke Scull’s powers of attorney, to act without further notice, and to liquidate an investment account to pay for Scull’s care. Then, despite being granted only limited powers, and with undue haste, the County arranged for the sale of the men’s personal property, cleaned out their home, terminated their lease, confiscated their truck, and eventually disposed of all of the men’s worldly possessions, including family heirlooms, at a fraction of their value and without any proper inventory or determination of whose property was being sold.
Adding further insult to grave injury, the county removed Greene from their home and confined him to a nursing home against his will–a different placement from his partner. Greene was kept from seeing Scull during this time, and his telephone calls were limited. Three months after Scull was hospitalized, he died, without being able to see Greene again.
Is someone keeping track of all the repressed anti-gay Republican politicians in the country who get caught in the midst of all sorts of flaming gayness?
Sources tell CBS13 a state senator from Southern California was arrested for allegedly driving drunk after leaving Faces, a gay nightclub in midtown Sacramento, early Wednesday morning. [...]
The Sacramento County district attorney says Republican state Sen. Roy Ashburn’s blood-alcohol level was .14 percent when he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving near the Capitol.
Ashburn, a father of four, is a Republican Senator representing parts of Kern, Tulare and San Bernardino Counties with a history of opposing gay rights. [...]
A male passenger, who was not identified as a lawmaker, was also in the car but was not detained. [...]
Ashburn served six years as a state Assemblyman before being elected to the State Senate. According to Project Vote Smart, Ashburn’s voting record shows he has voted against every gay rights measure in the State Senate since taking office including Recognizing Out-Of-State Same-Sex Marriages”, Harvey Milk Day and Expanding Anti-Discrimination Laws.
This is truly remarkable. If I see another thing written anywhere that claims that fighting against marriage equality (or Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, or whatever) isn’t motivated by animus toward gay people, I will scream – loudly:
Matthews: Do you think we should outlaw gay behavior?
Sprigg:Well, I think certainly..
Matthews: I’m just asking, should we outlaw gay behavior?
Sprigg:I think the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas which overturned the sodomy laws in this country was wrongly decided. I think there would be a place in this country for criminal sanctions against homosexual behavior.
Matthews:So we should outlaw gay behavior?
Sully’s updates on the Prop 8 trial are invaluable. I was particular interested in this one (full copy, shame on me):
One fascinating aspect of the Prop 8 trial is whether the proposition was a good faith effort to support what its backers think of as traditional marriage, or whether it was a campaign driven by animus to a small minority. Of course, proving intent on this is hard. Except when it isn’t. In a court room you have to assess the facts pertaining to the specific issue at hand and cannot rely on emotional or religious or psychological distractions. The deposition of one of the “Offical Proponent” of Prop 8, Harry Tam, is pretty devastating:
Question: “And it is your understanding that part of the gay agenda is legalizing underage sex?”
The conflation of homosexuality with child abuse was a central issue for the people who ran the Prop 8 campaign, hence the ads that focused on the threat that gays posed to children. Since this plays on the oldest blood libel against gays, it certainly implies that the Proposition was motivated by prejudice. Imagine a Proposition that argued that Jews should be denied, say, being school-teachers because of the threat to the kids. No one would dispute that that’s a vile, blood libel motive for a constitutional amendment. But when exactly the same bigotry fuels a Proposition to deny gays the core right to marry, a right deeper in the constitution than the right to vote, it’s all apparently motivated by high-minded concern for family life.
Among the emails retrieved by the court from Tam – who was a year-long organizer and fundraiser for the Proposition – is this one:
This November, San Francisco voters will vote on a ballot to “legalize prostitution”. This is put forth by the SF city government, which is under the rule of homosexuals. They lose no time in pushing the gay agenda — after legalizing same-sex marriage, they want to legalize prostitution. What will be next? On their agenda list is: legalize having sex with children … We can’t lose this critical battle. If we lose, this will very likely happen…
1. Same-Sex marriage will be a permanent law in California. One by one, other states would fall into Satan’s hand.
2. Every child, when growing up, would fantasize marrying someone of the same sex. More children would become homosexuals. Even if our children is safe [sic], our grandchildren may not. What about our children’s grandchildren?
Tam has requested to withdraw from the case. Because he helps prove just how powerful some of the most vile slurs against gays were in fomenting the denial of civil equality under the law in California. No wonder Maggie Gallagher wants as little sunlight in this trial as possible. Because it reveals the true motives of those who are in her movement.
Ted Olson, one of the most prominent conservative legal icons of the last quarter-century, penned a remarkable defense of marriage equality in the new issue of Newsweek. This passage stood out for me:
I understand, but reject, certain religious teachings that denounce homosexuality as morally wrong, illegitimate, or unnatural; and I take strong exception to those who argue that same-sex relationships should be discouraged by society and law. Science has taught us, even if history has not, that gays and lesbians do not choose to be homosexual any more than the rest of us choose to be heterosexual. To a very large extent, these characteristics are immutable, like being left-handed. And, while our Constitution guarantees the freedom to exercise our individual religious convictions, it equally prohibits us from forcing our beliefs on others. I do not believe that our society can ever live up to the promise of equality, and the fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, until we stop invidious discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Sully highlights a truly disturbing video taken of Christianist fanatic Scott Lively spewing forth a vile screed against homosexuals in Uganda:
It is important to point out that Scott Lively, this hate-filled sack of human excrescence, is no stranger to pushing for laws that attack and demonize homosexuals.
The “Nuclear Bomb” Against Gays. That’s the term used by American Christianist Scott Lively to advocate for the new law in Uganda. He now claims to be shocked at any idea that he could endorse the execution of people for homosexuality and appalled by the violence threatened against gays in Uganda during the evangelicals’ anti-gay crusade in Africa.
[This] video of Lively’s talk in Uganda reveals what he says when he doesn’t think he’s being watched by Americans. He likens gays to mass killers, as the kind of people who would create a holocaust, as terrible dangers to civilization. This is the core of the Christianist message and the Christianist message is now the core of the GOP. At some point, you have to take these people’s words seriously.
I know because I lived through a harrowing time during my teen years in Oregon when Scott Lively was a primary driving force behind Ballot Measure 9, a measure forced on the state by the rightwing Oregon Citizens Alliance that would have amended the Oregon constitution to include the following:
All governments in Oregon may not use their monies or properties to promote, encourage or facilitate homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism. All levels of government, including public education systems, must assist in setting a standard for Oregon’s youth which recognizes that these behaviors are abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse and they are to be discouraged and avoided.Suffice it to say that this man and his hate-filled cohorts tore my young psyche apart in the 90s with this vicious campaign to enshrine fear and hatred in my state’s founding document.
I’m just too pissed off right now to write much more, but here is a representative sample of the violence that Scott Lively visited upon me in my formative years:
‘In the past, the OCA has been compared with the Nazis in its campaigning methods and goals, so this time around, they are turning the tables by claiming that not they, but the gays are ones who should be compared to Nazis. In the state Voter’s Pamphlet the organization says “Nazism was largely an outgrowth of Germany’s gay rights movement.”
‘The GT article states: “Lively said in a letter to the editor in The Daily Astorian that homosexuals ‘were an integral part of the Nazi party throughout history.’” The article goes on to say: “Lively said Wednesday that gays were in Nazi ranks but that does not mean they managed the Holocaust. ‘The fact that homosexuals were in the leadership of the Nazi party from the beginning is a fact documented by respected historians,’ he said. ‘The holocaust was racial genocide of the Jews that had nothing to do with homosexuality.”‘
See also “OCA: Gays Had Big role in Nazism“
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