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View Diary: VT Gov vetoes Marriage Equality (272 comments)

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  •  No, it goes to the nature of the trait (0+ / 0-)

    It's why certain characteristics warrant strict scrutiny and others don't.  Discriminating based on region is less repugnant than discriminating based on age, for example.

    Sorry, you're wrong.

    Greenbelt, MD loves Barack Obama!

    by Prince Georges for Obama on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:38:31 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Point to ponder (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, Predictor

      If Science invented a magic potion that can turn a black person white, would discrimination on the basis of race become legal since race would no longer be a static characteristic. Strict scrutiny is not dependent upon immutability. Mutability isn't necessary, nor is is necessarily a sufficient condition to achieve strict scrutiny. Can the government deny driver's licenses to people who were born blind?  Its an immutable characteristic, so such discrimination must be analyzed under strict scrutiny, right?

      There are 10 kind of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don't.

      by craigkg on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:43:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That would be a different reality (0+ / 0-)

        Race would have little meaning if a potion could change it.

        Greenbelt, MD loves Barack Obama!

        by Prince Georges for Obama on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:46:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Race has little meaning in reality now (3+ / 0-)

          As I said, race is not genetic. It is a socially constructed heritable categorization, but it is not genetic. A black person is black only because one or both of their parents was black. Under the one drop rule, just one drop of "Negro" blood makes one black. I'd be black under that standard (my great-great-great-great grandfather was a Melungeon), but I can attest to the fact I've never been mistaken for being black in my life, but I technically would be under the former laws of most Southern and quite a few other states. And if I wasn't black, I'd be a native American, another ethnic group for which I've never been mistaken.

          There are 10 kind of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don't.

          by craigkg on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:52:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ethnic features are genetic (0+ / 0-)

            The color of one's skin, shape of nose, etc.  Race is a social construct, but ethnic features are not.

            Greenbelt, MD loves Barack Obama!

            by Prince Georges for Obama on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:54:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No skin color isn't! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tnichlsn, Predictor

              Take the deepest, darkest Africans and settle them in the northern reaches of Lapland for a few thousand years and they will turn white even without marrying into any other whites. Melanin levels in the skin dictate skin color and the initial level is heritable (not genetic, learn the difference) but exposure to the sun or lack there of changes that level as the generations pass. Ever notices all dark people come from equator regions and light skinned people from far northern reaches? There is a connection.

              There are 10 kind of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don't.

              by craigkg on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 08:01:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's not mutability (0+ / 0-)

                You're smarter than that.  If I have to wait 5000 years for my skin color to change (when my life span is only 80 years), for me, race is not a mutable characteristic.  Hair color is mutable, for example.  

                Greenbelt, MD loves Barack Obama!

                by Prince Georges for Obama on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 08:06:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  OK, I guess I'm going to have to explain it... (4+ / 0-)

                  ...like you are a fifth grader.

                  Race is immutable and heritable, but not genetic.

                  Race is not a suspect classification because race is immutable. Race is a suspect classification because racial minorities have historically had insufficient political power to secure legislation protecting their rights relative to the political majority. The same is also true of ethnicity and national origin.

                  Sex is not a quasi suspect classification because sex is immutable. Sex is a quasi suspect classification because sexual "minorities" (aka women) have historically had comparatively little political power to secure equality despite technically being in the majority.

                  Elevated standards of review are based on political power, not genetic characteristics (like facial bone structure), mutability (or lack thereof) of other characteristics (like skin color), or the heritability of social constructions (like race).

                  Historically, the fact that gays and lesbians have been persecuted and even executed for being gay and subjected to substantial discrimination and been relatively unable to easily secure legislation favorable to their rights means that heightened scrutiny in some form is applicable whether it is heighten scrutiny or suspect scrutiny is up for debate in come quarters, but when political power is the main consideration, I find it asinine to assert that gays are more politically powerful than blacks or women.

                  There are 10 kind of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who don't.

                  by craigkg on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 08:20:54 PM PDT

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                  •  Well, that was a nice legal lesson, but (0+ / 0-)

                    a lot of American legal theory is just bullshit, period.  A lot of 5-4 Supreme Court decisions have just been WRONG, PERIOD.  E.g. Bowers v. Hardwick.
                    THEREFORE, EVEN BOTHERING to explain the nuances of the thought of O'Connor or Kennedy or Powell or White
                    IS A COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.
                    You really should just stick to basic moral principles.

                    The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

                    by ge0rge on Tue Apr 07, 2009 at 12:51:36 PM PDT

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      •  It is a fairly important part of the analysis, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AndyS In Colorado, Predictor

        though. Or at least the Iowa Supreme Court thought so, considering the amount of space they devoted to the question of whether sexual orientation was immutable in their ruling. (They decided that while it is indeed mutable, it's very difficult to change and that nobody should be forced to choose between having civil rights and changing such a constitutive part of their personhood.)

    •  The general sense on this blog is that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      musing85, tnichlsn, craigkg, Predictor

      mistreatment and denial of rights is just as repugnant as racism.

      And the general sense of the country is moving that way.

      But, just to clarify are you saying that discrimination based on sexual orientation is less repugnant than any other characteristic, say, sex or ethnicity?  

      If that is the case, then you might want to examine your own attitudes.

      This is not about "characteristics" of aggrieved parties.  It's about the behavior of people trying to deny choices to people based on their associations and the legal ramifications thereof.  It's not about, in other words, the discriminatee, the argument boils down to one about the discriminator.  

      The argument you were replying to was based on the behavior of bigots, specifically how similar the behavior is regardless of whom the bigotry is aimed at.  You shifted the argument to the characteristics of homosexuals versus the innate characteristic of ethnicity.  

      That is where your illogic lies.

      Because my life doesn't need to be an educational experience for someone else. (-6.62, -6.26)

      by AndyS In Colorado on Mon Apr 06, 2009 at 07:48:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Then why is it, do you suppose, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AndyS In Colorado, Predictor

      that it is illegal under federal law to discriminate on the basis of national origin? Sure, you can move anywhere in the world these days--but people are still going to make invidious assumptions about you based on where you come from.

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