Regular readers know my stance on this. Gay marriage has in many ways replaced the death penalty as my personal litmus test for what I think about politicians and humanity in general. For years, that test was the death penalty, but that’s a pretty hard test to apply when virtually every politician in America has to pay lip service to state sanctioned killing to be electable. There are some exceptions to that, but it’s difficult to find politicians who actively campaign based on opposition to the death penalty.
Gay marriage is dramatically different, although that difference is getting remarkably smaller as well.
The United States Supreme Court will rule this year on a trio of cases that the pundits believe will produce an opinion that once and for all settles the question of whether there is a constitutional right in America for two consenting adults to marry, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. When appellate courts such as the Supreme Court hear cases, interested parties can file what are called amicus briefs, or friend of the court briefs. The current gay marriage cases are bringing people out of the woodwork.
As reported in today’s Sacramento Bee, Meg Whitman and Neel Kashkari, the last two Republican nominees for governor in California, are among 300 conservatives who have filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court. Uh-oh. The conservatives are lining up against gay marriage, trying to give the conservative wing of the court some backbone. Right? Ummm. No. This group of conservatives have filed a brief in support of gay marriage.
Maybe this isn’t such a litmus test anymore. I also read something in the last few weeks that a lot of the fire-breathing right-wingers in Congress have recognized that silence on this topic is better than opposition.
But, wait there’s more. Yes, the Tampa Bay Rays, New England Patriots, and San Francisco Giants have also signed on to a brief in support of gay marriage. So, you know when the conservatives have started to come over to your side of things, something incredible may be happening. And then when American professional sports franchises — one of the last bastions of intolerance to homosexuality in this country — are stating publicly their support of tolerance, humanity, and love for all. Well, I’m just kind of gobsmacked.
Now, we can only hope that Scalia and Thomas are the only votes against this historic moment.