John Aravosis at AmericaBlog has a great post about the last ditch effort of the Far Right anti-gay movement’s efforts to stop Marriage Equality by threatening the US Supreme Court:
What’s really going on here, in my opinion, in addition to religious right leaders admitting publicly that they do not believe in democracy in general, and in America’s democracy and our system of governance as laid out in the Constitution, in particular, is a not-so-subtle last-ditch effort to pressure the Supreme Court to rule against gays in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases.
The whole post is a great read so check it out, but there are a few other dimensions to this I want to add.
This sets up the opportunity for the far right to claim a victory US Supreme Court doesn’t decide for full marriage rights. No one is expecting the court to issue such an expansive decision, so it is a safe bet and an easy set up. We know that the anti-gay movement is an ideological movement that represents an extremely small proportion of the US. To keep doing their work going, they need to raise money. In fact their biggest reason to exist is fundraising. They are a bigot industry that speaks for an increasingly shrinking constituency. A “win” even a manufactured win, allows for the fundraising to continue.
Truly, the Religious Right has played the Supreme Court decision as if it were the final battle from the beginning. Their rhetoric and propaganda have situated it as a “do or die” scenario; an all or nothing moment. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The Court’s decision will begin a new phase in the battle for full equality, but it isn’t the final step no matter what the announcement.
Aravosis rightly points out how this displays the Religious Right’s arrogance and disrespect for democracy, but there is a second side to this point which is important. I’v e been writing for sometime about the growing movement towards an American Theocracy, and this threat by the Far Right emphasizes this point. On the one hand the vulnerability of our democracy to be overturned by a theocratic minority seems ridiculous, and on the other hand, history has shown that more outrageous things have happened.
This battle is, for the LGBTQ community and our allies, all about Equality: Marriage Equality. But for groups like the Family Research Council, it isn’t centrally about gay marriage. At the heart of the battle is a religious battle for the soul or souls of America. It is the religious war we didn’t ask for, yet find ourselves fighting. For conservative Theocrats, marriage is the hill upon which they will die, because if they lose this battle, their efforts are set so far back they may never get ahead again. If you think that seems extreme, well, it is, but that notion of the hill upon which they will die is a direct quote from Theocrat Rick Santorum.
At this point, one thinks the Supreme Court is pretty well aware of what they are going to decide and announce. It is possible that the Court won’t issue an announcement, but very highly unlikely. The justices for and against whatever the majority decision have been busy writing and rewriting their decisions, knowing that not only does the issue speak to the very basis of democracy and freedom, but that their decisions will be used heavily from this point on. It isn’t the end all in this battle, but it is no less a critical moment in the larger struggle.
One point Arovosis doesn’t make- how interesting it is that the National Organization for Marriage is not a group with signature on this. Bt that is a point to address in another post.