Monday, July 13, 2015

NOM trying to raise money off of SG Verrilli

Donald B. Verrilli
US Solicitor General
The latest polemic from National Organization for Marriage in its quest to convince people that it should continue to exist it titled “We Must Fight Back Together.” Fight back against what exactly? Gays legally marrying who would otherwise be shacking up? Children whose parents are finally married? Gay kids with a brighter outlook for the future? These folks who always have both hands out take responsibility for nothing. They are accountable for nothing.

I'm going to skip through the first part of the muck which seems to ask for money every other sentence. I want to get to the part about Donald Verrilli, Solicitor General of the United States.

Brian Brown:
I tell you . . . I shook with anger when I read the words of the lead attorney from the Obama administration from his testimony before the Supreme Court. When pushed, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli finally conceded that yes, redefining marriage would "be an issue" for religious organizations, opening the door to removing tax-exemption from organizations that refused to sacrifice their beliefs because of the Court's ruling.
Here is the applicable testimony from the Court transcript:
JUSTICE ALITO: Well, in the Bob Jones case, the Court held that a college was not entitled to tax ­exempt status if it opposed interracial marriage or interracial dating. So would the same apply to a university or a college if it opposed same­sex marriage?

GENERAL VERRILLI: You know, I ­­ I don't think I can answer that question without knowing more specifics, but it's certainly going to be an issue. I ­­ I don't deny that. I don't deny that, Justice Alito. It is ­­ it is going to be an issue.
It is an issue and it is worth noting that Mr. Verrilli was not being an advocate (in spite of Brown's efforts to characterize him as evil incarnate). He gave a truthful response. Mr. Brown knows perfectly well that an issue is not the same thing as a problem and his “shook with anger” is just meaningless hyperbole. The Bob Jones case emerged in 1971. The Civil Rights Act had been in effect for seven years. The Supreme Court ultimately held that the IRS was permitted to take actions to further public policy with respect to racism which was a compelling government interest. We can observe that Bob Jones had an irrational policy towards African-Americans.

Sadly, LGBT Americans are not protected in any way from discrimination by federal law. With respect to gay people I might argue that a policy based on scripture is irrational per se. The competing interests (should this ever become an issue) are LGBT equality vs. biblical condemnation (according to some Christians) of gay people. This matter is far more complex than Bob Jones because free exercise might mean acceptance of the Bible as the inerrant literal word of God.

Where are the gay spouses who want to attend Liberty U? You would have to be more than a little meshuganah.

I would like to point out a different portion of Mr. Verrilli's testimony. I thought that it was quite eloquent:
And what I would suggest is that in a world in which gay and lesbian couples live openly as our neighbors, they raise their children side by side with the rest of us, they contribute fully as members of the community, that it is simply untenable ­­ to suggest that they can be denied the right of equal participation in an institution of marriage, or that they can be required to wait until the majority decides that it is ready to treat gay and lesbian people as equals. Gay and lesbian people are equal. They deserve equal protection of the laws, and they deserve it now.
Brian Brown and the rest of that crowd fail to appreciate or even acknowledge the contributions to society of their gay neighbors. They are unable, and unwilling, to apply critical thinking to Catholic dogma.

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