In One Eye

Sunday, May 15, 2005
 
On a Sunday when the papers are filled with newsless feature stories (the New York Times informs its readers that there's a class divide in America, and the Washington Post lets its readers know that their retirement benefits have shrunk for the last number of decades), it's often beneficial to see what Frank Rich has on his mind. As usual, he doesn't disappoint.
It's a virulent animosity toward gay people that really unites the leaders of the anti-"activist" judiciary crusade, not any intellectually coherent legal theory (they're for judicial activism when it might benefit them in Florida). Their campaign ... uses gay people as cannon fodder on the way to its greater goal of taking down a branch of government that is crucial to ... constitutional checks and balances ...

Today's judge-bashing firebrands often say that it isn't homosexuality per se that riles them, only the potential legalization of same-sex marriage by the courts. That's a sham. These people have been attacking gay people since well before Massachusetts judges took up the issue of marriage, Vermont legalized civil unions or Gavin Newsom was in grade school. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, characterizes the religious right's anti-gay campaign as a 30-year war, dating back to the late 1970's, when the Miss America runner-up Anita Bryant championed the overturning of an anti-discrimination law protecting gay men and lesbians in Dade County, Fla., and the Rev. Jerry Falwell's newly formed Moral Majority issued a "Declaration of War" against homosexuality. A quarter-century later these views remained so unreconstructed that Mr. Falwell and the Rev. Pat Robertson would go so far as to pin the 9/11 attacks in part on gay men and lesbians - a charge they later withdrew but that Mr. Robertson repositioned just two weeks ago. In response to a question from George Stephanopoulos, he said he now believes that activist judges are a more serious threat than Al Qaeda.
I've spoken before on the utter hypocrisy of these morons who bemoan the presence of "activist judges" while all the time countenancing the one time when judges really overstepped their bounds—in the hideous Bush v. Gore decision of 2000.

On this day of the annual AIDS Walk in major metropolitan areas, it's necessary to remember how far we as a nation haven't come as we strengthen our resolve to set things right and to insure equality for all members of our society.