Oh, yes, PLEASE bring this to SCOTUS!

In a bit of big news that makes the U.S. an even better place for sexual minorities, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has decided that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is effectively a subset of discrimination by sex, which means it is already illegal under existing civil rights law.

You know what this means?

When the SCOTUS decided that bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional—thus giving us nationwide marriage equality—there were still some states where employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (read: you could get fired for being gay) was still legal. The EEOC’s decision means that firing someone for loving the same gender is now especially unlikely to go unpunished.

Is this as binding as a Federal law? Not quite. But it definitely means something.

The ruling — issued without objection from any members of the five-person commission — applies to federal employees’ claims directly, but it also applies to the entire EEOC, which includes its offices across the nation that take and investigate claims of discrimination in private employment.

While only the Supreme Court could issue a definitive ruling on the interpretation, EEOC decisions are given significant deference by federal courts.

Oh, man, I relish the thought of the SCOTUS ruling on this question. I can’t wait to see Scalia throw another tantrum over his colleagues having the gall to do their jobs. (But really he’s throwing a tantrum because the law no longer honors his prejudices as it once did.)

I’m interested in this decision because the commission is recognizing what we in the queer and feminist communities have been saying for decades: homophobia is dependent on sexism. The way society treats LGB people (this particular decision does not affect transgender folks) has everything to do with the way society defines man, and woman, and what it expects of us depending on those labels. Furthermore, any hostility to people of same-sex orientation can be ultimately boiled down to a question of what would happen to an opposite-gender (although “opposite” is a problematic concept where gender is concerned, but just humor me for the sake of argument) person in the same place. Specifically: if my employer fires me because they found out I lick pussy, the question is, would they treat a man this way? Would a man lose his job because he’s attracted to women? Ridiculous, isn’t it? Would a woman have to worry about becoming unemployed because she craves cock? The idea is preposterous. Thus, homophobia (and also biphobia, though when bisexuals experience employment discrimination, it’s usually a matter of homophobia) is a wholly owned subsidiary of sexism.

Anyway. The commission’s decision means that the situation of “lose job because we got married” is increasingly unlikely.

Good. We are on Team Fabulous and I want that to mean something.

(Also, I just created the “proud to be an american” tag for this blog. It’s about time I started saying that.)

Now is the time for mockery.

The mushroom cloud of insanity from the Enforcers of Tradition has arrived, as we expected. There’s nothing in there that’s interesting or surprising; it’s a lot of frothing about slippery slopes, religious “freedom,” the primacy of procreation and the significance of procedure. I see a lot of fist-beating about the evils of the Supreme Court doing their jobs, including from the Supreme Court judges. Maggie Gallagher is her usual petulant self:

Kennedy’s decision is not law, it is Justice Kennedy’s moral values written into our Constitution, and interfering with our rights as Americans to pass laws that accord with our values on marriage.” Kennedy’s decision is the Roe v. Wade of this generation, not this generation’s Brown v. the Board of Educations,” said Gallagher, “Like Roe, stepped in to disenfranchise millions of voters’ concerns to tilt unfairly the scale of justice controversial moral issue trending in a liberal direction. But like Roe the deep questions involved in marriage will not simply go away: At the heart of the gay marriage argument is an untruth: unions of two men or women are not the same as unions of husband and wife; The law cannot make it so, it can only require us to paint pretty pictures to cover up deep truths embedded in human nature.

Anger is not good for Ms. Gallagher’s grammar.

What is the difference, really, between Brown v. Board and Roe v. Wade? Other than that Maggie likes the Brown decision and disagrees with Roe? Abortion rights, like same-sex marriage is a liberal direction that she opposes, whereas school integration is a liberal idea that doesn’t bother her. If she had been an adult who watched the news in 1954, however, she would have been marching in the streets along with the pissed-off white people who wouldn’t stand for those children to be allowed in their schools. She’s hardly even trying to hide it anymore; the unfairness is that the SCOTUS didn’t give her what she wanted. I might even be charitable enough to suggest that she doesn’t understand what the role of the court system is in government, but she understands as much as she wants to. NOM and all the rest of the anti-equality movement are happy to go through any process that gets them the policies they want. They don’t want the courts to stay out of the law; they want the courts to acquiesce to the demands of their movement.

On a sort-of related note, do you ever notice how the “defenders of traditional marriage” have a lot of overlap with womb-controllers? Look, “family values” folks: If all fertile women were exclusively lesbian, there would be hardly any abortions. One might get the impression that you all don’t really care about “life” or “family” so much as punishing people who enjoy sex more than you do.

 

Justice Scalia, what is that I don’t even.

Think Progress has cut through the Teal Deer of the latest Supreme Court case to show us that Antonin Scalia does not pass up an opportunity to play the “special rights” card.

Okay, the WordPress video insert doesn’t seem to be working today, so here’s the link to the video on YouTube:

Antonin Scalia said WHAT?!

I’ve pasted a lot of relevant passages from the transcript below the jump, but the Golden Heap of Nonsense is bolded.

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Just a quick note to the pro-patriarchy folks…

Dear Opponents of Marriage Equality,

If any society agreed that all questions should be settled by a majority vote, it wouldn’t even bother writing a constitution in the first place. Those “activist” judges are doing their jobs. Quit acting like you wouldn’t be happy as a pig in shit if the SCOTUS hauled off and overturned all the democratically passed laws you don’t like. Your privilege is hanging out for all to see and it’s nowhere near as pretty as you think it is.

No love,

Bi-Yotch

The President lets his Politician Flag fly.

Obama seems to have a very narrow definition of a litmus test:

“You know, I am somebody who believes that women should have the ability to make often very difficult decisions about their own bodies and issues of reproduction. Obviously this has been a hugely contentious issue in our country for a very long time. I will say the same thing that every president has said since this issue came up, which is I don’t have litmus tests around any of these issues.

“But I will say that I want somebody who is going to be interpreting our Constitution in a way that takes into account individual rights, and that includes women’s rights. And that’s going to be something that’s very important to me, because I think part of what our core constitutional values promote is the notion that individuals are protected in their privacy and their bodily integrity, and women are not exempt from that.”

Mr. President, you are so pro-choice, and you want SCOTUS judges to be pro-choice, too. You know it, I know it, and the pro-lifers know it. Saying you “don’t have a litmus test” for your Court nominees doesn’t make it so. Of course you have a litmus test! Reproductive freedom is an important issue to you as President, and there’s no reason to be ashamed of that. The weasel words aren’t fooling anyone.

Also: the Jesus in that poster is holding a bloody fetus in His hand. Stay classy, pro-lifers.

It is the foundation of our society!

Pam’s House Blend runs a letter from Rep. Mike Pence (R-Idiculous) on the threat posed by same-sex marriage:

In the wake of ominous decisions by activist courts and recent actions by state governments, the need to defend the institution of traditional marriage is more apparent than ever. Like millions of Americans, I firmly believe that the sacred institution of marriage is between one man and one woman and that married couples form the backbone of our society.

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Interfering with the legislative process of where you don’t live

“Democracy” means something different when we’re talking about DC:

Bishop Harry Jackson, pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, appealed that ruling to Superior Court. Last week, 39 members of Congress filed a brief in support of Jackson’s appeal, arguing that the election board overstepped its authority in denying a public vote on whether marriage should be defined as a being between a man and a woman.

So, this is the situation: there is a bill which will extend marriage rights for people who live in DC. That bill was passed by democratically elected council members who represent DC, and signed by the democratically elected mayor of DC. The people trying to fuck with the bill are a pastor from Beltsville, which is in Maryland (hangs head in shame) and therefore not DC, and 39 Congressfolk who do not represent DC. The DC Board of Elections and Ethics says, TWICE, that they can’t fuck with the bill. A judge who serves the people of DC says they can’t fuck with the bill. So these people coming from everywhere except DC keep on saying, “We wanna fuck with the bill!”

Sorry, what’s that about marriage equality being undemocratic, again? What’s that about “judicial activism”? Does “the will of the people” now mean letting elected officials make decisions for people they don’t represent, and whose interests are therefore of no consequence to them?

All that said, I can see where Bishop Harry Jackson is coming from. Beltsville isn’t in DC, but it’s not far away, either. A very large share of Maryland’s population works in DC and/or lives near it. When DC starts letting same-sex couples marry, it’ll only be a matter of time before a critical mass of people in Prince George’s County see enough to realize it’s not the downfall of civilization. Once PG County is on board with marriage equality, well, Montgomery County will already be there and the rest of the Baltimore-Washington corridor will either be there already or not far behind. And then Bishop Harry Jackson will find himself in the position of ministering to legally married same-sex couples who held their weddings at other churches. I suppose that would make him uncomfortable.