George Takei was wrong about Clarence Thomas

For the record, George Takei’s comments about Clarence Thomas were racist, and, like most people on the left who have been complaining about Thomas’ “dignity” discussion in his Obergefell dissent, missed the point Thomas was making.  Clarence Thomas is a black man who grew up speaking the Gullah dialect in the Jim Crow south. He talks about watching his grandfather struggling to memorize long portions of the King James Bible so he could pass the literacy tests to vote. When Thomas writes about how dignity isn’t something that the government can give or take away, he’s speaking as someone who knows as well as anybody that if black folk in America were relying on the government as the source of dignity they’d be still waiting.  Now, where I disagree with Thomas is that I think that humans have inherent dignity, but that the government either does or doesn’t treat people in a way that respects that dignity that we all have. Thomas isn’t wrong though, just incomplete. I’m no great fan of Clarence Thomas’ jurisprudence. His version of originalism, with its stacks of old dictionaries, refusal to consider anything constitutional if it wouldn’t have been thought of at the time the document was drafted, and steadfast insistence that if you don’t like it you should amend the constitution, is too unwieldy for the modern era. There was no way Thomas was going to vote for marriage equality no matter his personal views about LGBT people. The man is nothing if not consistent in his application of his principles of constitutional interpretation, and this is an issue where he was always going to say that the right approach was to amend the constitution. I think he’s wrong, but that’s a matter for intellectual debate, not name calling.   To call him a clown[…]

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*Pats self on back*

See that right there? That’s my work being cited in the Family Equality Council, et al. amicus brief submitted to the United States Supreme Court in support of marriage equality. Needless to say, I’m pretty happy about it, a lot of late nights went in to the project when the four of us put it together for a Family Equality Council amicus brief in Perry and Windsor.  It’s not often that one gets the chance to leave their fingerprints on history and I’m grateful that I’ve been given the opportunity to play a small part.  There is a dark cloud hovering in the background, though. This is yet another accomplishment that Covenant College is going to refuse to acknowledge. Doesn’t matter if the brief managed to swing Scalia and Thomas to vote for equality in a unanimous Supreme Court decision (not gonna happen, but a girl can dream), my alma mater isn’t going to acknowledge it. Because acknowledgement equals endorsement and we can’t have that.  Not going to lie, it hurts. It would be nice to have something positive happen without having any reason that my happiness is tarnished.  Maybe someday.

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Covenant College censored my alumni update

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? -Micah 6:8, KJV When I was asked at the start of last spring semester whether I would be interested in assisting on research for an amicus brief in the Prop 8 and DOMA cases set to be argued before the Supreme Court later that spring, I jumped at the chance. Not only is it something that I’m personally and professionally proud of, as having the opportunity to play even a miniscule role in a major case is something that most people don’t get, it was something that I believe as a Christian was the right thing to do. Do justice. Love mercy. The brief I worked on dealt with the way that the laws negatively affect children raised by LGBT parents, and how those laws negatively affect LGBT youth, their sense of self and their ability to imagine a future for themselves. More specifically, I worked on a team with several other law students to coauthor a survey to capture the voices of LGBT youth and young adults, and our paper is cited in the amicus brief. The responses that poured in were heartbreaking. Kids sharing their stories of growing up and realizing they were different, and the fear and worry about whether their future relationships would be treated as legitimate by the government, feeling that they were lesser because of the law. Yet, in all that, hope that someday things might change. Kids daring to dream that there might be a future where they could build a life for themselves as equal citizens. I worked to provide justice for those kids. As you can see, my work on[…]

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No, Marvin Olasky, the DOMA ruling doesn’t mean you’ll soon have to chose between silence or jail

Perhaps I’m just a glutton for punishment, but every so often I feel the need to check out what one-time trustee at my alma mater, editor-in-chief of World Magazine (who would use that position to write thinly-veiled screeds about Covenant turning liberal), author of the Newt Gingrich-pimped The Tragedy of American Compassion (and of the super racist, orientalist, poor-excuse-for-a-novel Scimitar’s Edge, among other books), architect of “compassionate conservatism,” Marvin Olasky has to say about world events. What he has to say about yesterday’s DOMA ruling is an absolute doozie.  Because I’m bored and because the hyperbole, panic, and overall insanity of the piece is absolutely hilarious, I am going to do point-by-point commentary forthwith.  Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissent in today’s Supreme Court same-sex saga is stinging the left, which is hitting back with headlines like “Top 10 Rage Quotes from Scalia’s DOMA Dissent.” No, Marvin, Scalia’s dissent is not “stinging the left.” We’re too busy laughing at it. I’ve been waiting for this dissent on pins and needles for months because I knew it was going to be epic. Scalia is many things and is unquestionably brilliant, but on the issue of homosexuality, he is completely and utterly incapable of maintaining any sign of impartial jurisprudence, as his scare-quote ridden, rant about about the gay agenda taking over law schools, Lawrence v. Texas dissent made clear. It’s one of those things you can’t even get mad at because the image of Scalia impotently seething with rage that the world is changing is too funny. After skimming the holding in Windsor yesterday, I skipped right to  Scalia’s dissent and it did not disappoint. Dude was so mad that he starts out his dissent with what was was pretty much a frontal assault on Marbury v. Madison and the entire concept of judicial review upon which[…]

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Real People

I’m kind of dreading the Supreme Court rulings on marriage tomorrow. Not because I think we’re going to lose–all the Supreme Court math suggests otherwise, but because whatever happens, my Facebook newsfeed is going to be horrible tomorrow. I know people say I should just make heavy use of the “Unfriend” button, and maybe I should, but I don’t feel right about cutting people out of my life like that. All I know though, is that the two days during oral arguments over Proposition 8 and DOMA were unpleasant because of all the nastiness that showed up in my newsfeed. People forget that there are actual people with real feelings reading their posts, and seeing how many of the people you grew up with and consider friends think you should be a second class citizen without equal rights hurts. Please remember before you click to post, there are real people with real feelings who are reading what you write. This may be an academic debate for you, but for us, it’s personal. Show some love and compassion and try to think about how you would feel if people you know are busy posting away about how they think that people like you are disgusting abominations who shouldn’t be allowed the same rights they take for granted.

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Changes

Obviously we’re still waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on DOMA and Prop 8, it was a bit of a circus there today because of the possibility that it would take be announced. There was a lone protester across the street with a huge sign saying something about sodomy, dude was wearing one of the red Operation Save America/Operation Rescue “Jesus is the Standard” shirts with the cross and the American flag. Once upon a time, I ran in those circles, but that feels like a whole different lifetime.

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