Prejudicial Evidence

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Prejudicial Evidence

Senator Sam Brownback has leapt from wanting to demonize gays to trying to disqualify someone from getting a job because they have gay friends-- even if that person is one of Bush's judicial nominees.

The Washington Post has an editorial about it.
IF YOU THOUGHT that fights over judicial nominations couldn't get any worse, consider the case of Janet T. Neff, whom President Bush has nominated to a federal district judgeship in Michigan...For Judge Neff, it turns out, once attended a commitment ceremony for a lesbian couple -- and that has Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback (R) reaching for the smelling salts and blocking the nomination.

Mr. Brownback has said he wants to satisfy himself that the judge was not presiding over an "illegal marriage ceremony" in Pittsfield, Mass., in 2002 -- before the state legalized same-sex marriage. He has written to Judge Neff asking for an explanation, his spokesman says, and will hold up her nomination until he learns the nature of the ceremony and its legality. "It seems to speak about her view of judicial activism," the senator told the Associated Press.
Excuse me, but as a LAWMAKER who devotes an awful lot of time worrying about other people's marriages you should at least know that even if the judge did preside over the ceremony (she says she didn't) that there is nothing "illegal" about doing so, as it stands all same-sex marriages are "extralegal," and are in no way "illegal." (Except for legalized marraiges between same-sex couples who are in Massachusetts, of course.)

Which raises the question-- do Brownback and his misinformed, gay-hating cronies believe that the adoption of the Federal Marriage Amendment (or similar state-level measures) would ban same-sex couples from having weddings or living as married people? What kind of dreamland are they imagining, one where priests, rabbis and non-clergy folks are arrested for marrying same-sex couples? Have they ever heard of freedom of assembly or the freedom to worship?

The Washington Post editorial sums it up succinctly, "Keeping Judge Neff off the federal bench over such a matter is perilously close to declaring her unfit to serve because she has lesbian friends."

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