To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Observercast

The Discriminators

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BY JAMES NIMMO

History records Samuel Johnson saying that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

We’re told terrorist acts are the work of cowards, especially so when innocent women and children are the targets, which begs the question: Are all men guilty and suitable targets for terrorism? Let me store that question away for another time.

What are we to make of elected officials with degrees in the law who make arguments that marriage equality puts children at risk?

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals will soon be hearing oral arguments in marriage-equality cases from Hawaii, Idaho, and Nevada where the defenders of discrimination are using the protection of children as their shield defending the common garden variety of prejudice thrown at same-gender couples.

What are we to make of this quote:

“A child’s formative years are benefited by the presence of both a mother and a father,” attorneys for the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage wrote in court filings in the Nevada case. “The man-woman marriage institution vindicates the child’s interest in knowing and being raised by her own natural mother and father.”

Two very important sharp points punch holes is this defense of discrimination:

1. What about single parent households? Should those children be removed from the home?

Just when do the “formative years” end? I’m well into middle age, yet I’m still being “formed” by my parents.

2. What about adopted children who do not know and may never know who their “natural parents” are?

“Vindicate” is an odd choice of word to use generically to “defend” children. Isn’t it more likely the use of “vindicate” is wishful thinking of the discrimination defenders to justify their own personal attitude toward civil equality for gay and lesbians?

One very good piece of news is that the three judge panel hearing these marriage equality cases have already made previous written rulings concerning gay equality in Prop 8 from California, eligibility of gay people to serve on juries, and the unconstitutionality of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

James Nimmo lives in Oklahoma City and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.