Thursday, September 14, 2006

Bart Hinkle Jumps the Shark?

It seems that Richmond Times-Dispatch colunist Bart Hinkle has started his own blog.

Today, he writes to criticize Attorney General Bob McDonnell, saying this:

Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell has issued an opinion that the proposed marriage amendment to the Virginia Constitution “will not affect current legal rights and obligations of unmarried persons involving contracts, wills, advance medical directives,” and so on. He’s said as much before. But as I’ve pointed out before (in the May 16 column, “Could a Judge Misinterpret the Marriage Amendment?"), the advocates of the amendment seem to have painted themselves into a logical corner.

If the threat to traditional marriage from activist judges is so dire that existing statutory language banning gay marriage is not sufficient, then what is to prevent those same (unidentified) activist judges from misinterpreting the marriage amendment and invalidating existing statutory language on other topics? Judges elsewhere have ruled that state marriage amendments invalidate the protections of spousal-abuse laws for unmarried persons, for instance.

The emphasis is added. As I understand it, Hinkle is suggesting that the same activist judges who would disregard the law and 5000 years of civilization to create some "right" for homosexual "marriage" might also cite this amendment to "invalidat[e] existing statutory language on other topics" to the detriment of homosexuals.

Yeah. Right.

Let me explain it to you, Bart. The potential problem isn't "activist judges" who rule absurdly to illustrate what they [presumably] believe to be an absurd amendment. The potential problem is "activist judges" who pervert the law to achieve their personal political preferences, e.g., homosexual "marriage." Thus, an "activist judge" inclined to rewrite the definition of the word "marriage" to allow a couple --- or group --- of perverts to call their activities "marriage" is not going to be inclined to extend the reach of the marriage amendment to deny them the equal protection of laws against domestic violence, search and seizure, etc.

It is a measure of the desperation of perversion's proponents that they are left to suggest that their own allies on the bench might use the marriage amendment to harm them. Like most of the sturm und drang of the far Left, it is nonsense.


Bill Garnett said...

Your comment -- 'that the same activist judges who would disregard the law and 5000 years of civilization to create some "right" for homosexual "marriage'

To put it mildly you are dealing in hyperbole. Marriage has changed considerably in 5000 years. I won’t preach – anyone who is not familiar with history can look it up and see that polygamous marriages, and marriages as more of a property transaction were fairly common until recent times. I am 63 and have seen the description of marriage change in Virginia in my lifetime (in the 50’s a divorcee in the neighborhood was a slut – today heterosexuals dismiss Biblical adultery warnings and often go through two or three marriages with attendant consequences to children). And interracial marriage wasn't allowed until recently. In the western world there is a trend in enlightened countries to extend the rights and benefits of civil marriage to gays and lesbians.

Yes, marriage has changed – but to amend our Bill of Rights to outlaw divorce would not be so popular or so easy as to go after a minority group.

I suppose it was activist judges who ended segregation and who in Lawrence v. Texas got the government out of our bedrooms. Oh, I see, they are only “activist:” when they upset your agenda. No one believes that Virginia is about to have activist judges and you will have a hard time making a case that our founders ever intended our Bill of Rights be amended to marginalize a minority and inscribe discrimination.

Why don’t you explain in terms a Virginia high school student can understand, just why this is so important and what common good it will produce for Virginia?

James Young said...

Wow! I've been accused of hyperbole by someone who has said "Some elderly gays may not get survivor benefits; Some people or property may be injured in hate crimes, as fringe groups misconstrue this as permission; Some hospital visitation may be more difficult; Some estate fights may result in decisions against a life long same sex spouse [yes, actually used the phrase "same sex spouse," even though there is no such thing]; Some gays may leave the state and break their ties to family and community [gee, I hope so; we need fewer perverts]; Some businesses may leave and some may not arrive." Quite an indictment!

You're right about one thing: marriage "has changed considerably in 5000 years." And never, EVER, has it validated homosexual perversion.

BTW, your wrong about a few other things: it wasn't "activist judges ... and who in Lawrence v. Texas [2004] got the government out of our bedrooms"; that was the Fourth Amendment (1791). Look it up! It wasn't "activist judges who ended segregation"; that was the Civil War Amendments.

This amendment isn't about using the Bill of Rights "to marginalize a minority and inscribe discrimination," at least as you use the last word (though we already know you have trouble with language). It's about protecting the language and its plain meaning from those who would change it. It's also about protecting the right of the government and people to act appropriately toward perversion, and appropriately discriminate between good behaviors and bad. What's next?

And this blog isn't directed to high school students. First, they don't vote. Second, they need a good dose of reality outside of the government schools and away from teachers' union partisans before they should.

But thanks for reading!

Bill Garnett said...

Oh how smug you are. Well I was careful with language. You might note I used “may not”, “may be”, “may result”, “may leave”. As an attorney I’m sure you are sensitive to the subtleties of language.

And as to your derogatory comment about the 250,000 gays and lesbians in Virginia being perverts, that is hardly less civilized than the Nazi attitude towards Jews and gays -- as is your comment that you hope they leave the state. My relatives have been here since Jamestown and have fought in all our wars for the rights and freedoms and liberties we enjoy -- against such bigots as you.

“Never EVER validated homosexual perversion”. Let me give you a few pieces of information. Our esteemed legislators who until recently upheld sodomy laws and raised their hand to uphold the laws of the state, seemingly missed that sodomy is also anal and oral sex with anyone. Unless they were only having missionary position sex (and hopefully never for purely sexual gratification but only for procreation) it would seem they were a bit hypocritical. I assume that from your high moral perch that you have never been involved in sodomy. But interestingly the sex surveys indicate most married couples engage in sodomy. Lot of perverts out there.

I assume in using “pervert” that you are referring to the Merriam-Webster definition “to cause to turn aside or away from what is good or true or morally right”. Well homosexuality is not a moral choice it is a state of being, in case you aren’t familiar with the expert opinions and research of all of the nation’s foremost-recognized scientific and medical experts. But I don’t expect you to accept that either. You must have some privileged research that the rest of the nation doesn’t.

Humm, so it is activist judges who interpreted the Forth Amendment. And I must have been mistaken living in Richmond in the 50’s when blacks had their own water fountains, bathrooms, seats on the bus, and public schools – wasn’t the civil war a hundred years earlier?

Well I’m happy the government will discriminate between good and bad behavior – perhaps they will go after the seven deadly sins – I believe hubris or pride was one of them – better watch out.

And I again challenge you to explain in terms a Virginia high school student can understand, just why this is so important and what common good it will produce for Virginia? Because I don’t think you can. You are merely sidestepping it with a pretty weak defense at that. Surely the kids in high school, who will inherit this amendment and who support gay marriage will be saddled with it long after you are gone.

Yes young people do support gay marriage – see this Pew Research Center report:

One can only imagine where your homophobia comes from.

Rick Sincere said...

You realize that some of your readers -- I count myself among them -- are "perverts" -- which, I suppose, you count me as.

I fail to understand how an otherwise intelligent person can continue to use such offensive and inflammatory language in regard to other people. It betrays a combination of ignorance and bigotry on your part, and it sullies your attempt to contribute to civil discourse.

James Young said...

Rick, I've never before seen the level of vitriol in your posts that was manifest in Garnett's, i.e., comparing opposition of homosexual "marriage" to racism; equating protection of marriage with "discrimination" and attempts "to marginalize a minority"; comparing historical views regarding homosexual behavior as comparable to the Nazis. I have little issue with those who keep their private sexual behavior private; I reject the notion that aberrant sexual behavior is entitled to some sort of State validation that advocates for the radical homosexual agenda seeks. Those who insist upon demonizing those who would resist their radical agenda can hardly be surprised when their opponents respond in kind. Sadly, Mona Charen was indeed correct: unfortunately, what was once the Love that Dare Not Speak Its Name has become the Love that Will Not Shut Its Mouth. And I am no more guilty of "bigotry" (i.e., one who is "who is intolerant of opinions, lifestyles or identities differing from their own") than those who insist upon throwing up their lifestyle choices in the face of those who, at best, don't care and, when confronted with it, dare to defend traditional morality.

Like most people, I reject the notion that homosexual behavior (like pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality, etc.) is anything but a choice, and I have no problem with holding people accountable for their choices. The accusation of "smugness" is hardly appropriate when juxtaposed to Garnett's self-satisfied assertions (for example, his assertion that our legislators "seemingly missed that sodomy is also anal and oral sex with anyone").

Charles said...

Gee,I just wanted to point out that the real worry is NOT the strawman of an "activist judge re-writing the law to his own purposes", because any judge that does that can be overruled by the appeals courts or the state supreme court.

The fear is the state supreme court deciding that the LAW on the books is UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and throwing it out.

By putting the text of the law into the constitution, we protect ourselves from an activist set of judges deciding that the constitution requires them to invalidate the law.

The Massachussetts supreme court has taught us the law -- if you want to regulate marriage, you better write it into the constitution, or else someone will use your constitution to define marriage for you.

Bill Garnett said...

It should be no surprise that your choice of calling gays “perverts” would be offensive to someone who is gay and knows he never chose his sexual orientation. Especially in 2006 when medical science has concluded what gays already knew, that having a same sex sexual orientation is not a matter of choice.

In fact it is generally considered offensive in today’s civil culture to call gays “perverts”. I find it offensive.

But you didn’t stop there. You make an issue that I describe a long-term gay relationship and used the term “same sex spouse”. And then when I suggest that, as Virginia becomes less accepting of gays they could reasonably look to more gay accepting places to live, you state, “gee, I hope so; we need fewer perverts”.

And you continue with a mocking, “though we already know you have trouble with language”. Mr. Young, is it any surprise that someone who visits and posts on your blog finds your tone insulting? You associated homosexuality with “aberrant sexual behavior” and then with pedophilia, necrophilia, bestiality!

And I direct you again to Merriam-Webster: sodomy: anal or oral copulation with a member of the same or opposite sex (the emphasis is added).

If you persist that homosexuality is not a choice, then cite research that supports that. Otherwise you are broadcasting your personal beliefs as fact.

And as anyone following this conversation will note. I am now for the third time making the very simple request: explain in terms a Virginia high school student can understand, just why this amendment is so important and what common good it will produce for Virginia?

James Young said...

Once again, Bill throws up the definition of "sodomy," as though it were a matter of dispute. One wonders why?

And I don't care what you find "offensive." I find your effort to pervert the language offensive, too; hence, I resist it. But I'm not whining about how "offended" I am by your effort.

And I couldn't care less what "medical science" says about "orientation." Medical science also demonstrates the biological imperative in males to spread their seed widely, yet society doesn't validate that biological imperative, and nevertheless validates the family structure. What I am talking about --- and what you scrupulously avoid --- is sexual behavior, which is always a matter of choice. Hence, the comparison with other sexually perverse behavior is entirely appropriate.

Bill Garnett said...

Oh you are one class act.

For the fourth time, can you explain in terms a Virginia high school student can understand, just why this amendment is so important and what common good it will produce for Virginia?

David said...

Bill, factual accuracy with regard to human sexuality is not a concern for James. We should just leave it at that.

James, you seem to have badly missed the point Bart Hinkle was making. Of course he is not saying that it would be the same "activist judges" who would apply the proposed amendment language to void private contracts that "intend" to "approximate" some attribute of marriage. Actually, the judges you are so concerned about don't exist in Virginia, while the ones he refers to have already created such precedent.

To characterize Hinkle's column in the way you do makes you look silly.

Bill Garnett said...

David, I took the opportunity to Goggle James Young and one wonders how any bar association tolerates having an officer of the court in its ranks who makes such reprehensible statements and is so dismissive of facts. I will take your advice – there are far too many other reasonable and civil bloggers.

James Young said...

Being called "silly" by people who don't understand the word "marriage" is just priceless, David! Especially when you suggest that "factual accuracy with regard to human sexuality is not a concern for" me, when I have made no assertions regarding "factual accuracy," whatever you believe that to be.

And I guess you're right about me badly missing the point. I was just confused when Bart used the phrase "those SAME (unidentified) activist judges" (emphasis added). I'm so glad you could clear up the fact that "he is not saying that it would be the same 'activist judges'" (wish I could get italics to work for me). Did he (and you) write something there in some kind of special ink that only you can see?

As for you, Bill, it's interesting to see that you're advocating "bigotry" now, i.e., that State bars should be "intolerant of opinions, lifestyles or identities differing from their own."

I would now pay homage to the Thought Police, but gestures (either an upraised arm or an upraised, well-chosen finger) don't translate well in comments. Just to be clear, you wouldn't confuse my gesture with genuflecting.