My biggest problem with Harriet Miers is the same as it was for John Roberts, the new chief justice of the Supreme Court. It is the same as it has been for President Bush. It is an issue from which pro-family leaders and leaders of the religious right – the groups that got out the votes that put Bush over the top in the last two presidential elections – have shied away. It is the advancement of gay rights.
Please, understand. I do not care what someone does behind closed doors with their sex life (as long as it does not include a minor). That is just too much information. I am concerned, however, when a behavior – any behavior – gives the person practicing that behavior access to my hard-earned tax dollars or special privileges under the law.
President Bush has done more than any president in history to advance gay rights:
The Bush administration allowed money set aside for the families of the 9-11 victims to go to domestic partners. Had this happened under the Clinton administration, religious leaders and pro-family groups would have been up in arms. However, with George W. Bush in the White House, the silence was deafening.
For years, Congress inserted a provision in the District of Columbia appropriations bill (the District gets all its money from American taxpayers) to keep federal money from being used to implement a proposed domestic partners law. In 2001, with behind-the-scenes pressure from the Bush administration, that provision was dropped. The following year, voil?, the District passed its domestic partners law and our tax dollars began flowing to support these unions. Again, pro-family and religious leaders held their tongues.
Then, along comes the nomination of Judge John Roberts to the Supreme Court. There was one glaring flaw in this man’s resume?. He did pro-bono work for gay-rights groups on Romer v. Evans, the landmark case decided in 1996 that gave 14th Amendment protection to the practice of homosexuality and laid the ground work for the 2003 decision Lawrence v. Texas.
It is true that Roberts did not argue Evans, but Jean Dubofsky, the attorney who did, categorized his contribution to her winning that case as “crucial.”
Who vetted Roberts? Harriet Miers.
Now we learn that Ms. Miers submitted a report to the American Bar Association supporting “the enactment of laws and public policy, which provide that sexual orientation (code for homosexuality) shall not be a bar to adoptions when the adoption is (get this disclaimer) determined to be in the best interest of the child.”
To borrow some famous words from Ronald Reagan, “There they go again.”
Let’s look at the exact wording of Amendment 2, the amendment to the Colorado Constitution that was struck down in Romer v Evans:
Neither the state of Colorado, through any of its branches or departments, nor any of its agencies, political subdivisions, municipalities or school districts, shall enact, adopt or enforce any statute, regulation, ordinance or policy whereby homosexual, lesbian or bisexual orientation, conduct, practices or relationships shall constitute or otherwise be the basis of, or entitle any person or class of persons to have or claim any minority status, quota preferences, protected status or claim of discrimination. This Section of the Constitution shall be in all respects self-executing.
The amendment, simply stated, means that you can’t give special rights or privileges to a person or a group of people just because they engage in homosexual practices.
Many conservatives are upset over the nomination of Harriet Miers, and for good reasons, but you hardly hear anyone raising an objection over the fact that she obviously thinks that it is OK to grant special rights to people based on behavior. This is nonsense. It is crazy!
How can anyone who cares about “original intent” give her a pass on this?
Why did they give Roberts a pass?
Were they asleep, numb, hypnotized or simply afraid to call attention to the fact that they helped elect a president who believes that people who practice homosexuality should be a protected class, or (charitibly) that this issue just doesn’t matter?
When it comes to the Supreme Court, it matters. It matters a great deal. When you give someone or some group special protection, you undermine my right to equal protection.
Those on the right like to claim they doesn’t have a litmus test. However, it now appears that many influential leaders on the right believe that if a person is likely to challenge Roe v. Wade, nothing else matters.