Patricia Nell Warren

Prop 8: When the Fat Lady Sings

Filed By Patricia Nell Warren | August 05, 2010 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: Judge Walker, Prop 8 appeal, Prop 8 decision, Right Wing Watch, U.S. Supreme Court

"It ain't over till the fat lady sings" was never truer as in the case of Prop 8 litigation. Yesterday, while happy LGBT people celebrated in the streets, and press releases and email forwards blizzarded the Internet, and people called each other on the phone to say, "We won!" and all of us thrilled at Judge Walker's hard-hitting statement, the church-extremist reactions to the judge's decision were already piling up out there.

The reactions are fierce indeed -- and there's an eerie sameness in their tone. They all read like they were developed from the same press release template.

A sampling can be found at Right Wing Watch. More extreme reactions are coming in from talking knotheads of the New Apostolic fringe. As I write this, I have yet to see a statement from Lou Engle of TheCall, now the GOP's official prayer boy, but I'll bet it's a doozie.

In short, years will be spent, along with millions of dollars in legal costs, before the fat lady sings. The righters are now girding themselves for what they see as not just a historic courtroom drama, but an American Armageddon, with themselves cast in the role of "heroic soldiers against the forces of evil." They will stop at nothing in their efforts to lobby the U.S. Supreme Court and get the California decision struck down.

As Walker's decision is appealed, the country will be ever more deeply wracked with this controversy...and we can count on seeing the extremists (and their major media allies, like Fox News) go ever farther over the edge with provocative words and actions -- possibly even the violence already threatened by the Teabagger movement. All of which will take attention away from issues like jobs, health care, lingering racism, immigration issues, homelessness, corporate corruption, environmental disasters like the Gulf of Mexico, and foreign wars that we shouldn't be fighting.

In fact, I wouldn't put it past the religious right to deliberately use the marriage issue as a diversion -- one that might help them thwart needed actions on these other issues (since they all seem to be opposed to any humane solutions to them). After all, no other front on the American political scene beats the religious right when it comes to jesuitical cynicism -- to the end justifying the means.

Personally, I will hope that Lady Liberty, not the fat lady, will be the one whose voice is heard.

If the U.S. Supreme Court agrees with Judge Walker that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, it will be a turning point in U.S. history. Such a decision could open the door to further positive decisions on civil rights and human rights that need to be made if our country is to go on calling itself "the land of the free." On the other hand, we have to look at the patchy political composition of the present U.S. Supreme Court and wonder if such a decision would even be possible.

So if the Supremes strike down Judge Walker's staunch statement, it will start a disastrous unraveling of other rights -- not only LGBT rights, but rights for many other Americans, as the historic fabric of how the Constitution is interpreted begins to be torn to shreds. The LGBT bid for marriage could be the beginning of the end of America as we all have known it.

This is when many of our heterosexual countrymen and countrywomen are going to find out that their personal access to civil rights -- whether they like it or not -- is tied hard-and-fast to what happens to "rights" for LGBT citizens.

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There is always a backlash to granting of civil rights -- which is why they were denied in the first place. But I don't think that means we shouldn't ask.

You know, when I put up the reactions for orgs, etc. yesterday, I deliberately left out all the fundie statements because I just couldn't stand to look at them. For one brief shining moment, I wanted to concentrate on the positive without letting them be a fly in our ointment.

Thanks for pointing out where readers can see that batshit crazy crap, Patricia. And an even bigger thanks for not posting it all here where we'd have to start our morning with it staring us in the face! :)

It's not a time to be celebratorily complacent, to coin a(n) (awkward) phrase. I'm with you on this- there's too much to lose.

I don't think that marriage will become a distraction. Unemployment is 10-17%, depending on how you count, income is stagnant, and social services are being cut right and left. Even with Republicans beating the immigration goat, people are still more concerned with the economy.

Most voters don't buy into wedge issues. Political and media leaders, though....