A conservative I can live with. Actually, practically everyone I live with, live near, talk too, hang with, call, email, and otherwise have social intercourse with is a conservative, words chosen on purpose.
I have a lot of respect for my conservative friends and neighbors, for the most part. That part being, when we’re having honest intellectual dialogue about issues I’m happy to converse, debate, admit when I’m wrong, push a point when I’m right, it’s what we’re “supposed” to be doing. What I have no patience for what so ever is the stupid and poison rhetoric that seems to have taken over politics these days, especially on Hate Radio, like Glen Beck and Fox News.
I have no patience for racists, prejudice and religious zealots.
So, imagine my complete surprise when, on Sunday, when I couldn’t find the remote, I sat through an interview on Fox Morning Sunday, with Chris Wallace interviewing Ted Olson, who was described by Chris as a conservative legal giant who was the Solicitor General in the Bush Administration. The topic; the overturning of Prop 8 in California, the interview was not what I expected at all. Turns out Ted, the conservative icon that he is, was the winning lawyer who argued the case in front of a California c
ourt. He was defending the overturning of a law that I think denies basic civil rights to a segment of our population.
And his arguments.. well I guess that’s why he was the solicitor general. He’s a smart guy. And, before you go denying his credentials, he also won the case in Florida that put “W” in the White House.
My favorite quote from Mr. Olson, “We do not put the Bill of Rights to a vote, we ask judges to make sure that when we vote for something we’re not depriving minorities of their constitutional rights, and that’s what the judge did.” According to Olson, and I’m not straight on this, the courts have defended marriage as a right. If that’s the case, than the arguments against same-sex marriage fall away pretty fast.
40 years ago, in many states inter-racial marriage was against the law, if we put that up for a vote today, in some places I’m certain it would pass. Jim Crow laws didn’t go away because people voted them out of existence, to the contrary, would not have happened. Denying Gays and Lesbians the right marry creates a separate class of citizenship for them, and that is against the constitution.
As Olson said “It’s not judicial activism, it is judicial responsibility in its classic sense.” I’m going set myself for attack by my liberal friends here and suggest that Roe v. Wade.. not such a great law and was activism, that’s where I draw the difference. I would have much preferred to abortion legalzed by popular vote, feminist arguments aside, rights to abortion are not exactly guaranteed in the constitution.
What is guaranteed is the right to the pursuit of happiness. Olson made the comment that “freedom, stability, marriage, those are conservative values, and should be respected as such.” Here Here!
Of course Tony Perkins from the religious conservative Family Research Council claimed that this “weakens marriage” and “impacts the well being of children”, a specious argument at best. Last I checked marriage is between two people and the strength or weakness of a marriage is determined by the relationship between those involved. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh should know this better than anyone, they’v been strong enough to have 6 marriages between them.
The children thing.. there’s far more to fear from predatory straight men than Gays. Matter of fact, I would argue my kids are safer a Gay bar than in many so called youth groups and church basements in this country.
Mrs S. asked when I thought same sex marriage would be the law of the land in the United States. A year or two ago I would have said a long time from now. Now I’m hopeful that I’ll see one more vestige of discrimination fall in the next year or so.
Stranger things have happened, heck this week I discovered a Bush Administration guy that I an enormous amount of respect for.
That I and I voted a non-democratic ticket primary ballot today. Who knew.
Note, I’m voting with the Minnesota Independence party these days. Tom Horner for Governor.
This post was written by Gary Sankary and originally published on Old and In the Way. Follow him on Twitter: @sank