Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thoughts on Equality

Recently, the California Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8's ban on same sex marriage. Some people believe that since the majority of California citizens voted for Prop 8, then that makes it right. I don't see it that way, because the constitution protects an individual's basic rights under the equal protection and due process clauses, and that cannot be taken away by a vote.
If the Civil Rights Act of 1965 had been "put to a vote," instead of put into law, it too would have been voted down like Prop 8. The majority isn't always right and they shouldn't always rule.

Ted Olson, a conservative, and former Solicitor General for the Bush administration has filed a suit in California federal court seeking to overturn Prop 8. Read about it here: http://www.americablog.com/2009/05/bush-solicitor-general-ted-olson.html

How ironic that Prop 8's affirmation occurred on the same day President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor as the first Hispanic woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. His decision is viewed as progressive. I'm glad he chose a woman, and someone who has an inspiring life story, growing up in a housing project in the Bronx, going on to Princeton University (graduating 2nd in her class) and then on to Yale Law School. Sotomayor graduated Summa Cum Lauda, and has more experience (almost 17 years) than any U.S. Supreme Court Justice nominated in the past 75 years. And yet many Republicans are kvetching (what else is new?) and questioning her intelligence and qualifications. She has said that as a Latina she brings a different perspective to the court. Some R's are calling her a racist over that remark. Glenn Beck refers to her as "that Hispanic chick lady" but that's not racist. I don't recall anyone questioning Samuel Alito's intelligence because he's a white male. I think the people calling her racist and questioning her intelligence are the racists. And the dimwits. Here's a great source for information about the Supreme Court http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/

So we have our first African-American President and our first Latina heading to the U.S. Supreme Court and this moves us light years towards equality. Finally. But we are taking a step backward regarding gay rights and individual rights as humans (Prop 8, "Don't Ask Don't Tell" in our military). Separate is not equal. And the racist reaction from the Right to Sotomayor's nomination tells me that women and Hispanics are still not viewed as equal to the white males who are accustomed to running America.