Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Anti-gay noise dominates crowd before Supreme Court, with mixed accounts of the oral arguments on gay marriage by state

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the two Obergefell cases today.  At 10 AM, it heard 90 minutes on the question as to whether states can limit marriage to one man, one woman.  The last hour (until 12:30) dealt with Full Faith and Credit, whether states that don’t recognize gay marriage would have to recognize the gay marriages in states that do, which is meaningful only if “we” “lose” the first case.
There are two oral argument PDF’s from the SCOTUS site, 1 and 2.
CNN has a detailed account here, with four videos, and HRC has audio here.

Generally, Kennedy seemed skeptical that the Court should take over “redefining” marriage, but he also acknowledged that children raised by same-sex couples can experience hardships imposed by negative social views about their parents.  He also acknowledged that gay couples seem to be needed as adoptive parents. 
I got there around noon, and found that the “anti-gay” crowd was quite vocal, often trying to out-shout the Equality forces.  Fundamentalist religious rhetoric was common. One opponent was an Orthodox Jewish group.  One demonstrator had a placard claiming that one in three gay men have sex with minors.
One anti-gay protester was reportedly arrested in the Supreme Court building.
I carried around a book on quantum physics to visibly meet “religionists”.  I met someone from the Libertarian Party of Virginia in the crowd.
One of the conservative speakers toward the end claimed that gays and lesbians can tell their stories in movies when African Americans often can’t, and said that blacks have been lynched when gays haven’t. (That’s not totally true;  there have been a few plots against gay establishments, and a horrible incident in New Orleans in 1973.) 

I walked toward the back, and then Union Station.  I asked one woman how it went, and she gave a “thumbs up” sign, and then two more women, who were also quite optimistic.  

Also, the Foundry Methodist Church at 16th and P Sts NW, where the Clintons used to attend, was "tp-ed" with anti-gay signs (story and picture in Washingtom Blade April 26 by Michael Lavers here.  But today, the sign had been removed.
I grew up at First Baptist, two blocks down 16th.  

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