"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, February 08, 2013

Paradigm Shift

From Nan Hunter, an excellent analysis of the "marriage war," with a good point about something I've been saying for a while: the antis are no longer mainstream:
There is another political fracture reflected more subtly in the briefing. The lead lawyers for the parties on the anti-gay side – Charles Cooper for the Prop 8 Proponents and Paul Clement for the House of Representatives – are two of the most skilled and highly regarded appellate attorneys in the country. Their briefs may or may not be persuasive, but they do not lack polish. They sound like what they are: the work product of top-drawer (and top-dollar) law firms.

To see how marginalized the on-the-ground groups trying to block gay marriage have become, you have to peruse the amicus briefs filed by organizations and individuals supporting Cooper and Clement. There are no bar associations, no professional associations, no national civil rights groups, no corporate business voices, and no big prestigious firms that have written the briefs. Some amici are formidable: the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Attorneys General of 17 states, for example. But most of the intellectual, professional and cultural elites have switched sides.

My only objection to Hunter's analysis is that, if you read the briefs filed by Cooper and Clement, yes, they are polished, but the substance is thin -- they don't have much in the way of arguments. (And, as someone noted in the comments, Cooper is arguably incompetent -- I still remember his assertion that he didn't need evidence to support his case -- in a court of law.)

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