Monday, June 06, 2005

More on KK's anti-gay marriage dreck . . .

A couple of posts ago, The Real Issue Involved in Gay and Lesbian Marriage, Spottie said that Katherine Kersten, SBECF missed the mark in saying that it was necessary to keep marriage only for heterosexuals because they make babies. He said the real reason Kersten wanted prohibit gay marriage was just to reserve a right to a preferred class of people--her preferred class. It's the bigotry, folks.

Anyway, this is really an issue of equal protection or treatment of citizens under law, provided primarily by the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. Every citizen should be concerned about the equal protection of fellow citizens, because each one of us could be in the next group to fall out of favor. History is full of examples.

Spottie is going to borrow from his other blog for the best defense of equal protection ever; it bears repeating. Consider the case of Sir Thomas More, the Chancellor of England during the reign (or part of it, anyway) of Henry VIII.

As a Catholic, he couldn't swear to the Act of Succession or the Oath of Supremacy. The oath was to swear that Henry was the head of the Church of England, renouncing the Pope and Rome. He was charged with treason over this, and ultimately beheaded.

There is a famous play and a movie about these events; it is called A Man for All Seasons. Thomas More was played on stage and screen by British acting icon Paul Scofield. At one point in the play, More has a conversation with Richard Roper, a court sycophant who is Henry's Solicitor General and who is trying to trick More into committing treason here. He is not successful, but it is on Roper's perjured testimony that More is ultimately convicted of treason. I reproduce a portion of that conversation here:

More: There is no law against that.

Roper: There is! God's law!

More: Then God can arrest him.

Roper: Sophistication upon sophistication.

More: No, sheer simplicity. The law, Roper, the law. I know what's legal not what's right. And I'll stick to what's legal.

Roper: Then you set man's law above God's!

More: No, far below; but let me draw your attention to a fact - I'm not God. The currents and eddies of right and wrong, which you find such plain sailing, I can't navigate. I'm no voyager. But in the thickets of the law, oh, there I'm a forrester. I doubt if there's a man alive who could follow me there, thank God....

Alice: While you talk, he's gone!

More: And go he should, if he was the Devil himself, until he broke the law!

Roper: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!

More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you - where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast - man's laws, not God's - and if you cut them down - and you're just the man to do it - d'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.
This last remark from Thomas More is the best defense of due process and equal protection that Spottie has ever heard. He still trembles on reading it.

Sir Thomas More was ultimaely knighted and canonized. Kersten says she is a Catholic; she may have even studied More in her catechism.

Someday, there will be a diorama of the gay rights movement at the Minnesota History Center. People like Katherine Kersten and Michele Bachmann have to decide what kind of a character they want to play in the scene: a person like Susan B. Anthony or one like Nathan Bedford Forrest.

There was a letter in today's Star Tribune (June 6th) that sums it up very well:

Katherine Kersten is flat wrong ("Heterosexual marriage: A universal institution," June 2). Gay marriage is the civil rights movement of our generation. It will be as embarrassing to our children as segregation is to our parents.

My daughters will equate President Bush with Alabama Gov. George Wallace, and compare people like state Rep. Michele Bachmann and columnist Kersten to the sidewalk hecklers who screamed at little black girls.

Katie Pierson, Minnetonka.

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