"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

Monday, January 26, 2015

Obstruction As Ideology

Well, maybe that's too strong a word -- let's say "political philosophy" -- that seems to work as well. (No, the two are not the same -- "ideology" has come to have religious overtones; "political philosophy" is rather less emotional.)

Now, we're all familiar with this from the actions -- or inactions, to be more accurate -- of Congress over the past several years. The Republicans are still working on making Obama a one-term president. But we're now seeing it at the state level, most notably in the case of the recent pro-marriage decisions in Florida and Alabama. Alabama perhaps throws it into high relief:

"Judge Granade's ruling in this case only applies to the parties in the case and has no effect on anybody that is not a named party. The probate judges were not parties in this matter," Al Agricola, attorney for the Alabama Probate Judges Association, explained. "The legal effect of this decision is to allow one person in one same-sex marriage that was performed in another state to adopt their partner's child. There is nothing in the judge's order that requires probate judges in Alabama to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples."

Judge Greg Norris, President of the Alabama Probate Judges Association, hopes that misinterpretation of Friday's ruling will not cause confusion among the general public.

Ah, yes -- "misinterpretation" and "confusion among the general public." Where have we heard that before? You will recall that someone finally asked Judge Robert Hinkle for clarification. He was not amused.

I have one question for Mr. Agricola: what part of the word "unconstitutional" is it that you don't understand?

And, just to show the sheer inventiveness of the anti-marriage loons, a legislator in Oklahoma wants the state out of the "marriage business" completely:

Marriage licenses would become a thing of the past in Oklahoma under a bill filed by state Rep. Todd Russ.

The Cordell Republican says he wants to protect court clerks from having to issue licenses to same-sex couples. He doesn’t want these workers put in the position of having to condone or facilitate same-sex marriage.

Under his plan, a religious official would sign a couple’s marriage certificate, which would then be filed with the clerk. Marriages would no longer be performed by judges. If a couple did not have a religious official to preside over their wedding, they could file an affidavit of common law marriage.

“Marriages are not supposed to be a government thing anyway,” he said Wednesday.

Russ, a credentialed Assemblies of God minister, is upset with rulings that have supported same-sex marriage.

No shit.

Well, let's see, aside from the 14th Amendment Equal Protection violation -- common-law marriages vs. "real" marriages (oh, and one of those pesky details that seems to elude these assholes: Oklahoma does not, at present, recognize common-law marriages), there's probably a violation of the Establishment Clause in there somewhere -- a religious test to qualify for federal marriage benefits? Does the federal government recognize common-law marriages if they're not recognized by the state?

Oh, and Rep. Russ? Marriage is most certainly a "government thing," in every country outside the Vatican. (Give or take some fundamentalist Islamic states.)

Sort of reminds me of those county clerks in Florida who decided that they would no longer perform marriages in the courthouse.

Actually, it reminds me more of a two-year-old throwing a tantrum.

(Both stores via Joe.My.God.)

And of course Ted Cruz is getting into the act:

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) says he is planning on introducing an amendment that would prohibit judges from overturning state same-sex marriage bans, as he believes that same-sex marriage isn't protected under the Constitution.

Yeah, that's going to go far, isn't it? So far, Cruz has managed to show that he's good at one thing: grandstanding.

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