Search This Blog

Thursday, July 2, 2015

OSU students react to SCOTUS gay marriage decision and the invention of 'religious liberty' by opponents

I live in the rural, conservative part of Oregon, in a small college town dominated by the 30,000 students at Oregon State University, and so it has been fascinating witnessing the reactions to the Supreme Court's favorable decision for gay marriages, including the invention of "religious liberty" by the opponents of gay marriage who are now claiming to be victims of being deprived of their First Amendment right to free speech and also Tenth Amendment State Rights by vindictive gay activists who are seeking revenge against religious people -- I guess it takes bully to accuse gay people of being a bully who will hit the religious back for having passed Constitutional Amendments against gay marriage based on the Bible. I learned decades ago that bullies, if hit back, will always run crying to the teacher demanding punishment for the person who had defended themselves from the bully. (See previous post Gay marriage decision by SCOTUS resolves 1972 Baker v Nelson case (6/27/15))

The professional newspaper (circulation approximately 10,000) serving my small college town reprinted an editorial from a Constitutional lawyer's syndicated column by Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View, "It's the end of two eras for the court," Gazette-Times, Jul. 2, 2015, p. A7:

"The gay-marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, marks the culmination of a 25-year period of gay-rights decisions that coincided with an era of gay-rights advocacy, starting with the 1969 riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York. . .

A look back at this era should start with the gay-rights cases, which will certainly enter the history books. One early sign of their importance can be seen in the half-dozen books about the litigation and the lawyers who pursued it that were published in the last year. Supreme Court cases can be fascinating, and books that go into detail about a case or a line of litigation are often worth reading. Anthony Lewis's "Gideon's Trumpet" gave birth to the genre -- it's one of the main reasons I became a constitutional lawyer. But it's highly unusual for so many books to come out in such a short time about the same line of cases. The reason is simply that when there's been a historical accomplishment, we want to read a first draft to understand how to allocate credit. (See Note 1) . . .

Note 1: For the record, although there's plenty of credit to go around, Evan Wolfson argued the first gay-marriage case in Hawaii in 1993. When I was a summer associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in 1996, I was given the chance to do a small amount of pro bono work for Wolfson's organization -- and it was obvious that he was at the cutting edge of something that would be a long time coming."

(Quoted from Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View, "It's the end of two eras for the court," Gazette-Times, Jul. 2, 2015, p. A7)

I first noticed that Noah Feldman ignored the "Baker v Nelson" gay marriage case by referring to 25 years (1990-2015) of cases, and then abruptly adding the Stonewall comment. I agree there have been many books published seeking credit for gay marriage, but I bet Noah Feldman is unaware of the soon to be published book on gay marriage by Michael McConnell with Jack Baker, As told to Gail Langer Karwoski, "The Wedding Heard 'Round the World, America's First Gay Marriage," University of Minnesota Press, Jan. 2016.

The non-professional Oregon State University student newspaper ran several reactions by students to the Supreme Court's decision on gay marriage:

" With decades of ruthless protests and hearings, a historical nationwide ruling to legalize same-sex marriage was made by the United States Supreme Court on Friday, June 26. "The future me that will get married someday has been waiting for this since she was a little girl, even though she didn't know it," said Lauren Pittis, a senior in botany and sustainability. . . Shelby Wanser, a senior in animal science who is also involved with the Pride Center, was filled with joy hearing the news. "I woke up to my friends telling me the news on my first morning that we were in San Francisco for Pride. . ."

(Quoted from Anna Le, "OSU students react to same-sex marriage legalization with pride," OSU Barometer, July 1, 2015, p. 1-2)

A student editorial writer, in reaction to the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision, comes out as "pansexual" and not interested in gender as his selection criteria for somebody to love:

" Spending most of my childhood in Mexico, I was taught that being "gay" was a bad thing. I even remember being a little frightened to the idea of getting near a gay person or having any kind of physical contact. . . .

It was then when I was a teenager, I realized I was pansexual. To feel an attraction to someone because of the way they talk, smell or just look at me is, in a way, extremely liberating. "

(Quoted from Arturo W. R. Segesman, "Acceptance, equality are liberating, necessary," OSU Barometer, Jul. 1, 2015, p. 7)