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Robertson Wonder if Kennedy has a Gay Clerk

On more than one occasion I’ve had someone presume because of my advocacy of gay rights that I must be gay myself. That doesn’t bother me, of course, because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being gay. But now Pat Robertson is doing the same thing, wondering if perhaps Justice Kennedy has a gay law clerk or two. And of course, Judge Vaughn Walker is gay so…well, so what? Does that make his legal conclusions wrong? This is just a means for ignorant right wingers to dismiss rather than engage the ruling.

Comments

  1. Chiroptera says

    I wonder whether any of the justices who voted for keeping the VRA intact have a black law clerk or two?

  2. eric says

    On more than one occasion I’ve had someone presume because of my advocacy of gay rights that I must be gay myself. That doesn’t bother me, of course, because I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being gay.

    Such arguments bother me because they presume ones’ argument arises out of self-centeredness or personal bias rather than deep thought. Its a form of the “you only believe that because of your parents” argument. They are attempting to undermne the rational nature of your belief (in the eyes of other people). So, ideally, when someone does this, you SHOULD get up in their face about it.

    But I don’t see a perfect way to respond to them. “I’m not gay but…” is going to come off sounding defensive no matter what follows the “but.” Ignoring it and not mentioning your sexuality means they might be successful in undermining your point (i.e., some bystander may think that they are right, and that your belief stems from personal bias rather than deep thought). I guess the best thing to do is to point out that it’s a ‘when did you stop beating your your wife’ type of statement – intended to put you in a bad light no matter how you respond. But that can go over people’s heads.

    Sigh. Its a nasty and underhanded rhetorical trick, any way you respond.

  3. says

    Yet another example of where the conservative “mind” simply cannot deal with being wrong. Robertson is so convinced that his position is right, that the only reason that SCOTUS went the other way has to be something nefarious. We see this over and over again. Romney can’t possibly have lost because he was entirely out of touch with a majority of Americans and was dripping with contempt for most of us — no, he lost because the media skewed the polls or there was voting fraud or something else.

    “Personal responsibility” is something for other people.

  4. teawithbertrand says

    I’ve encountered this mindset before. “You’re not (insert minority group here), so why do you care about their rights?”

    Very telling.

  5. says

    @ eric

    Such arguments bother me because they presume ones’ argument arises out of self-centeredness or personal bias rather than deep thought.

    The thing is, the people making those arguments do so out of self-centeredness or personal bias. That’s all they understand so they assume that everyone else works the same way. Their “higher principles” are only useful as a cover for their real motivations. Robertson’s God reflects Robertson’s biases.

  6. jamessweet says

    Kennedy almost certainly does have a gay clerk, or at least has had one at one time. There was an article recently in the NY Times about this… I believe all of the SCOTUS judges have had at least one LGBT clerk at this point, if I am remembering the article correctly.

  7. Nick Gotts says

    eric@2,

    My response is something along these lines:

    It’s typical of bigots that they can’t believe anyone actually opposes bigotry unless it targets them personally.

  8. ppb says

    eric@2,

    I would say to them that I’m a human being, and I can sympathize with someone wanting to be treated like one.

  9. slc1 says

    Re jamesweet @ #6

    I am reminded of the time when then Senator Santorum was informed that his chief legislative aide was gay. Did he immediately fire him? He did not, saying that the gentleman was very good at his job and that’s all that the senator cared about.

  10. shouldbeworking says

    A neighbour asked why I support paying school taxes since I don’t have kids in school anymore. My response was that I do so because I don’t want to live a world with stupid people.

  11. cswella says

    I am curious how many judges who ruled pro-christianity were christians themselves?

  12. matty1 says

    So people only advocate for groups they are members of. That explains Robertson’s tireless work to promote stupidity then.

  13. says

    Whether or not Justice Kennedy has one or more gay clerks on his Supreme Court staff, he was certainly surrounded by gay colleagues during his tenure at McGeorge Law School in Sacramento—from the law school’s dean on down.

  14. Michael Heath says

    eric writes:

    Sigh. Its a nasty and underhanded rhetorical trick, any way you respond.

    Not at all. You too are missing the point regarding the primary premise upon which many of us advocate for equality. That’s that we can’t guarantee the equal exercise and protection of our own rights unless we advocate for the exercise and protection for all people. A society that seeks to discriminate against some risks the exercise and protection for all, even those who currently enjoy the privilege of disproportionate protection.

    So being gay or not is totally irrelevant when advocating for equality from a constitutional perspective.

  15. Reginald Selkirk says

    And of course, Judge Vaughn Walker is gay so…well, so what?

    So obviously, he should have recused himself. If he was heterosexual, he also should have recused himself. We need a corps of eunuch judges to handle these cases.

  16. kermit. says

    Fundamentalists are utterly incapable of seeing themselves as others see them, nor can they imagine themselves in another’s situation. This is why they are so bad at understanding the necessity for equal rights for all, and why they are so good at bigotry.

  17. says

    Dear little Patty boy realizes that it’s much harder to be a hateful bigot, if you actually know people you’re trying to demonize. Therefor, he has come to the only conclusion he can think of, that is to start to demonize people who may have had come into contact with the demonized demographic.

    But even that won’t work for long. It will start off like
    “Do you think that Judge Y has a clerk working for him/her that has known a gay person?”

    Followed the next year by-
    “Do you think that Judge z has a clerk working for him/her that has known a person whom has known a gay person?”

    In a hundred years, when Patty’s head is floating in a jar, it will be asking,

    “Do you think that Judge zz has a clerk working for him/her that has known a person whom has known a person whom has known a person whom has known a person whom has known a person whom has known a person whom has known a person whom has known a person whom has known a gay person?”

  18. CaitieCat says

    My simple response to this trick – which I’ve encountered in the “But you’re not Black/First Nations/Living with a Mental Disability/Jewish/left-handed…” sense, is quite simple, and usually a single word will do it.

    Niemoeller.

  19. eric says

    Heath;

    You too are missing the point regarding the primary premise upon which many of us advocate for equality.

    No, I get the premise on which such equality arguments are based. I’m telling you that the “he’s gay” charge is intended to make audiences think you aren’t doing it because of that premise. The question is not whether Ed is sincerely defending rights – of course he is (and you are, and I am, etc…) The quesion is how to best convince others that that’s what he’s doing after someone has used ‘poison the well’ rhetoric to make people think that’s not why he’s doing it.

  20. says

    shouldbeworking “A neighbour asked why I support paying school taxes since I don’t have kids in school anymore. My response was that I do so because I don’t want to live a world with stupid people.”
    You’re not paying enough. (Take that, humanity!)
     
    Michael Heath “That’s that we can’t guarantee the equal exercise and protection of our own rights unless we advocate for the exercise and protection for all people.”
    You’re forgetting that rights are like ice cream. If everybody gets a scoop, the Popular Majority no longer get all of it.
    You do want your betters to have more than enough ice cream, don’t you?

  21. yaque says

    \delurk
    You’re in good company:

    Charlie Chaplin: I’m sorry, I prefer not to shake hands with Nazis.
    German Diplomat: What have you got against us, Mr. Chaplin?
    Charlie Chaplin: What have you got against everybody else?
    Man at party: You’ll have to forgive him. He’s a Jew!
    German Diplomat: Really.
    Charlie Chaplin: I’m afraid I DON’T have that honor! Excuse me.
    Woman at party: [to Chaplin as he leaves] Shame on you!

    from: http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0027517/quotes

    “I don’t have that honor” – the best answer I’ve seen for that particular nastiness

    \relurk

  22. iangould says

    Did Alito’, Thomas’ or Scalia’s heterosexuality influence their decision?

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