Friday, February 06, 2009

Utah animus

"Its sheer breadth is so discontinuous with the reasons offered for it that the amendment seems inexplicable by anything but animus toward the class that it affects; it lacks a rational relationship to legitimate state interests." -- Romer v. Evans, 517 U.S. 620 (1996)

While Justice Kennedy was talking about an amendment before Colorado voters, he might have well been talking about the rationale behind the shooting down of each piece of the Common Ground initiative that has come to a vote this year at the legislature.
Common Ground foes argue that extending rights to same-sex couples or recognizing sexual orientation as a protected class undermines Utah's constitutionally enshrined edict that marriage is only between a man and a woman. They warn that even seemingly benign gay-rights measures put Utah on a "slippery slope" toward a court ruling that would legalize same-sex marriage, like in California last year.

"I don't use this word lightly: That's false," says Clifford Rosky, a family law professor at the University of Utah's law school. "Utah courts can't ignore the Utah Constitution."
Even though they know there is no way that these bills effect the same-sex marriage ban in the constituation, they want to claim otherwise because these "traditional marriage supporters" really just think gays and lesbians are icky to some degree. Enough that they believe homosexuals shouldn't be able to visit their partner in the hospital when the partner is sick, or sue when their partern gets hit by drunk driver, or collect on insurance from their partner.

And the Sumpremes have said not liking a group of people is not good enough reason for denying them rights that other people have.

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