Saturday, March 02, 2013

More Saturday Male Beauty

Al Qaeda Joins Ranks With NOM and Family Researc Council

I often refer to the Christofascists and the hysterically anti-gay professional Christian crowd as the Christian Taliban because their desire for an over throw of democracy in favor of a theocracy mirrors that of the Taliban and its allies in Al Qaeda.  Now, the merger of the two forms of religious based hatred and oppression are on the verge of merging as Al Qaeda joins NOM and Family Research Council in attacking gay marriage and Barack Obama for his emerging recognition of the rights of LGBT Americans.  Here are highlights from Joe Jervis' blog that look at the alignment of these hate organizations:

The Family Research Council and NOM have a new ally in the battle against same-sex marriage. Yesterday Al Qaeda published the above full-page graphic in Inspire, their English-language magazine. Will Brian Brown or Tony Perkins denounce their new BFFs? Or will this be one of those "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" sort of things? 

As the New York Daily News reports in an article entitled TORCHING, AMBUSH and HIT LISTS: Newest issue of Al Qaeda magazine 'Inspire' is Out With lots of How-toTips for Homegrown Terrorists, Inspire magazine is full of hints and tips that ought to frighten sane, law abiding Americans.  Here are a few highlights:

The magazine typically showcases graphic features that explain how to carry out non-traditional acts of terrorism.

The latest issue, which unapologetically shows readers how to turn a parking lot into a massive fire bomb, is no exception.

In a section titled "Open Source Jihad," writers explain to readers how to blow up parking lots and cause horrific car accidents. The instructions, which include "don't get petrol on yourself" are very thorough.

Another terrifying feature titled “Causing Road Accidents,” by an author identified only by the alias AQ Chef, outlines how, “following simple instructions,” you, too, “can carry out a lethal ambush.”

“There is no retaliation face to face, just place and vanish,” states the article, which painstakingly reveals how to grease windy roads with oil so thoroughly that cars slip off it and crash.

But the latest issue of Inspire doesn’t focus solely on lethal techniques. It also harps on specific murder targets.  In yet another perverted section, this one titled “Yes We Can: A Bullet A Day Keep The Infidel Away,” the magazine lays out a hit list list of men “WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE FOR CRIMES AGAINST ISLAM.”

Huffington Post also looks at NOM and FRC's new ideological ally on the issue of gay marriage.  The saying goes that one is known by the company they keep and on the issue of gays and gay marriage, NOM, FRC, the Mormon Church, Roman Catholic Church - and yes, the GOP - are keeping some very scary company.

Virginia’s First Openly Gay Judge Sworn In

In a major defeat for The Family Foundation, a viciously anti-gay affiliate of Focus on the Family and the hate group FRC, the 2013 session of the Virginia General Assembly confirmed Tracy Thorne-Begland as a judge on the Richmond General District Court.  The Family Foundation rolled out all of its typical forms of character assassination propaganda and anti-gay lies, yet enough Republicans decided to vote for Thorne-Begland to confirm him apparently in part to avoid Virginia's worldwide media crucifixion.  Yesterday, Thorne-Begland was sworn in.  WTVR TV-6 has details.  Here are highlights:

Tracy Thorne-Begland is now a General District Court Judge and will hold court in Richmond.
The historic end to a long and controversial journey was felt beyond the four walls of Richmond’s City Hall.

The road leading to the landmark day was not always been a smooth one. Last May, the House of Delegates voted against Thorne-Begland’s nomination after some voiced concern over possible activism from the bench. Delegate Bob Marshall tried to have Thorne-Begland’s named removed from a list of proposed District Court judicial appointments lasy year.  “I don’t even think it’s proper to put his name forward because of his behavior,” said Marshall, who called Thorne-Begland “a homosexual activist,” in a press release.

But almost one month after lawmakers voted against Thorne-Begland serving as a General District Court judge in 2012, the Richmond Circuit Court appointed him to serve an interim position last June.

However, he met with lawmakers to answer questions again this January. Those questions did not surround his sexual orientation, but rather his service in the Navy and concerns by lawmakers over “activism.”  “Some say you lied on your application to be in the military because it asks if you are gay,” St. Delegate David B. Albo, Chair of the Courts and Justice Committee, asked Thorne-Begland.  “In 1988 and 1989 when I was going through the process of joining the military I didn’t know I was gay,” Thorne-Begland said.

Thorne-Begland said the history-making moment would not be possible without the help of his sponsor in the House of Delegates, Manoli Loupassi R-Richmond.  “So the fact that his sexual orientation has nothing to do with it,” Loupassi said. “If you’re black or Latino or whatever. It doesn’t matter. Can you do the job? Are you qualified for the job? If you’re qualified and you can do the job then you’ll you should be able to get the job, too.”

Richmond’s newest judge thanked his partner of 20 years and two children for their support amid applause.
Kudos to Tracy and all of those who fought hard to win this confirmation.   As for Del. Bob Marshall, he continues to be an embarrassment to  Virginia and might better consider moving to Iran so that he can experience a theocratic government first hand.

Saturday Morning Male Beauty

Washington Post: Gay Marriage = Equal Treatment Under the Law

The verdict is out and among all legitimate experts (i) homosexuality is a normal form of sexuality for a portion of the population, (ii) it is not a "choice" and (iii) it is not changeable despite the claims of witch doctor like "ex-gay" ministries.  Some of us a simply drawn romantically and sexually to those of our own gender and trying to deny this reality can and does cause emotional and psychological problems not to mention lead failed marriages between gay and straight spouses.  Yet in the Christofascist briefs filed with the U. S. Supreme Court, the argument is made that there is no discrimination involved in forcing gays to marry straights.  It's the all too typical batshitery of those who ultimately seek to punish gays for their refusal to live their lives according to Christofacists' fear and hate based religious beliefs.  It also underscores the reality that the Christofascists don't give a rat's ass about the straight spouses in these doomed marriages or the children who will grow up in families very likely to fail.  It is, in the last analysis, all about Christofascists forcing their toxic beliefs on gays.  In its main editorial, the Washington Post accepts true reality and opines that gay marriage is all about equal treatment under the law for those who through no fault of their own are born gay.  Here are excerpts:

IN A BRIEF FILED Thursday with the Supreme Court, the Obama administration didn’t quite argue that the Constitution’s equal-protection clause guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. But Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. came awfully close.

Mr. Verrilli’s brief asks the high court to repudiate Proposition 8, a California ballot measure barring same-sex marriage that voters passed in 2008. Since California offers same-sex couples in domestic partnerships all the substantive rights and responsibilities of marriage between a man and a woman, denying the dignity of the term to gay men and lesbians can obviously serve no important governmental purpose, he argues. Prop 8 is therefore particularly offensive to the 14th Amendment. If the court accepts this line of reasoning, seven states with similar legal provisions could also see their bans on same-sex marriage eliminated.
It also dismantles the claims of Prop 8’s backers, who say that marriage is primarily about the capacity to procreate, justifying differential treatment. The brief points out that marriage is about far more; otherwise, states would be allowed to deny marriage rights to sterile or older couples.

These arguments apply to any state that restricts same-sex marriage, not just to those with strong domestic-partnership laws such as California. They are also persuasive. Yet the brief stops just short of calling for a sweeping, 50-state ruling. 

[O]n an issue of basic civil rights, halfway is ultimately legally and morally unsatisfying. Mr. Verrilli deserves credit for couching the administration’s understandable caution in legal principle. Still, it has shortcomings; it could, perversely, encourage other states to avoid offering same-sex couples legal protections short of marriage, in case the federal courts would then force them to take the last step. And if the court agrees that discrimination against gay men and lesbians deserves heightened constitutional scrutiny but stops short of a 50-state ruling, how could it justify any marriage ban?  The answer is that, after more hard work in courtrooms and on Election Days, none can or should exist in a nation that cherishes equal treatment under the law.

Anti-Abortion, Anti-Contraception Group Trying To Buy Virginia’s Governor’s Mansion

If LGBT Virginians have reason to wake up with night sweats at the thought of Ken "Kookineelli" Cuccinelli in the Governor's mansion come 2014, so too do women.  Kookinelli would cause untold damage to women's rights if elected, packing boards and commissions with extremists hand picked by The Family Foundation and virulently anti-abortion and anti-contraception groups.  As note here earlier in the week, the farcically named Susan B. Anthony List (Anthony was an early feminist and thought by some historians to have been a lesbian) has launched the extremist effort to buy the governor's mansion for Kookinelli.  A piece in Think Progress looks at not only this effort by extremists but also Kookinelli's views towards women which echo those of failed senatorial candidates Todd Akin (R-MO) and Richard Mourdock (R-IN).  Anyone who isn't a far right Christianist or angry while male who wants to disenfranchise blacks and sabotage freedom ought to be terrified at the prospect of Kookinelli winning in November.  Here are article highlights:

Virginia’s gubernatorial election, is eight months away, but a leading anti-choice group is already spending big money to buy the governor’s mansion for Tea Party Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R-VA). Susan B. Anthony List — an anti-abortion group that launched a program early this year to teach Republican candidates how to talk about rape without using words like “legitimate” or “gift from God” — pledged at least $1.5 million to Cuccinelli’s campaign, an amount that approaches the entirety of its spending on federal races in 2012.

Cuccinelli has not been captured on film expressing the kind of career-ending gaffe about rape that kept candidates Todd Akin (R-MO) and Richard Mourdock (R-IN) out of the United States Senate last year, but his stance regarding the rights of women who are raped is more or less identical to Akin and Mourdock’s. In his first campaign for elected office, Cuccinelli said that he “opposes abortions that are not for the purpose of saving the mother’s life.” So women who are pregnant because of rape or incest are out of luck.

Rape survivors aren’t the only people who face a bleak future in Ken Cuccinelli’s vision for America. In a book he published last month, he endorsed the view that Medicare is “despicable, dishonest, and worthy of condemnation.” He claimed that Social Security, Medicaid and Food Stamps are attacks on people’s freedom. And he suggested that we should stop spending money on these programs because “[y]our government will never love you.”

The man is down right scary and, in my opinion, certifiably mentally ill.

Friday, March 01, 2013

More Friday Male Beauty

U. S. Solicitor General Asks Supreme Court To Participate in Prop 8 Oral Argument

In a surprise move, U. S. Solicitor General, Donald B. Verrilli, Jr., has filed a motion with the U. S. Supreme Court seeking leave to argue the case against Proposition 8 along side lead counsel David Boies and Ted Olson.    The motion is somewhat unprecedented and will no doubt have the Christofascists screaming and howling.  For someone of my age who grew up through college being told that being gay was a form of mental illness, it is almost unbelievable now to see the President and Solicitor General argue that anti-gay laws deserve heighten scrutiny in terms of their constitutionality.  Here are highlights from Equality on Trial:

The Solicitor General of the United States, who filed an amicus brief at the Supreme Court yesterday in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Prop 8 case, has also filed a request with the Court to have time to argue in the case along with the plaintiffs’ lawyers, Ted Olson and David Boies, and the opposing side’s Charles Cooper.

The docket page for the case has this entry:
Motion of the Solicitor General for leave to participate in oral argument as amicus curiae and for divided argument filed.
The government asks for ten minutes of argument time. The same-sex couples who are plaintiffs challenging the law have said, according to the filing, they would give up ten minutes of their argument time.

The motion notes that the special circumstances of this case warrant the government’s participation in the case: namely that the question of the level of judicial scrutiny that should be applied to laws targeting gays and lesbians as a class has not yet been decided by the Court. The filing also points out that the government’s position on the question is “unique”. The government’s brief in the case suggested that heightened judicial scrutiny applies and that when Prop 8 is viewed through that lens the reasons given for the amendment are not enough to sustain the law.

The Solicitor General’s request for more time also points out that some of the same arguments were raised in the challenge to Section 3 of DOMA, United States v. Windsor, so the Court’s approach to those issues are important to the government.

What will be truly delicious if the Supreme Court strikes down DOMA and Proposition 8 under a broad ruling applicable to all the states in America will be seeing hate merchants like Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, Tony Perkins, Peter LaBarbera and others either out of jobs or heading up organizations who will see a huge drop in contributions once the anti-gay marriage gravy train ends.   Imagine these folks having to get real jobs!

Sequestration Will Cost 12,000+ Hampton Roads Jobs

Four aircraft carriers, from back to front, the Abraham Lincoln (72), the Enterprise (65), the George H.W. Bush (77) and the Dwight D. Eisenhower (69), tied up at Norfolk Naval Station on Thursday, February 14, 2013. (Steve Earley | Virginian-Pilot file photo)
Certain parts of Hampton Roads strongly supported the Republican Party in the November, 2012 elections.  Now, thanks to the obstructionism and economic sabotage of the GOP controlled House of Representatives, it is estimated that some 12,000+ jobs will be lost in Hampton Roads.  If these GOP supporters are really true to their party's agenda and mantra, they should step forward and volunteer to be among the first to be laid off and furloughed.  Will they do so?  Of course not!  Like their Christofascist allies in the GOP, they are HYPOCRITES.  They only support budget cuts and lay offs if they harm others.  These people wrap themselves in religion, claim to care about children and then  seek to throw the less fortunate under the bus.  And yes, I am talking about the good people who live in areas like Alanton and Little Neck in Virginia Beach and Newport News' "gold coast."  12,000+ families in Hampton Roads will suffer the consequences of GOP extremism.  Here are highlights from a Virginian Pilot article:

Hampton Roads will lose more than 12,000 jobs this year if sequestration is not halted, Old Dominion University economic researchers said. Sequestration is scheduled to begin taking effect later today.

ODU’s Economic Forecasting Project recently projected that the region would add 5,195 jobs in 2013. With sequestration, Hampton Roads will, instead, lose 12,237 jobs, the economists said today.
The researchers also revised their estimate on the regional economic input, or gross regional product. Instead of going up 1.68 percent this year, they said it will decline 0.67 percent.

Sequestration, the economists said, will cost the region more than $2 billion in spending. Nearly $1.9 billion of that is defense-related, the Economic Forecasting Project said.

Already refit and refueling work on the carrier Abraham Lincoln (in the picture above) has been postponed and a carrier deployment has been postponed.  And that's just the beginning of the impact.  The ripple effect on local business will see a multiplier effect.  In another article, the Virginian Pilot notes that the hospital ship Comfort may end up being confined to its wharf:

The naval hospital ship Comfort arrived at its new home base at Norfolk Naval Station this morning on what is supposed to be a brief stopover on its way to a humanitarian mission in South and Central America.

But sequestration could change that. If the across-the-board budget cuts looming over federal spending kick in today, the Comfort’s operations are slated to be canceled, relegating the ship to inaction at the pier.

The 894-foot-long ship is a moving triage center with 12 operating rooms, dental and optometry suites, capability for a CT scanner and hundreds of hospital beds.

The ship is scheduled to head out in early April to carry out Operation Continuing Promise 2013, a four-month humanitarian mission to eight countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean: Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Peru.
Who cares about humanitarian efforts if one is a Republican or Christofascist!

Friday Morning Male Beauty

Boehner Halts Talks on Cuts, and House G.O.P. Cheers

The story line in the right wing echo chamber is that sequestration was 100% a White House idea and efforts are being made to blame sequestration, which begins today, on anyone but the Congressional Republicans.  Outside of cuckoo land, all one need do is look at the House GOP's conduct to see which political faction is driving the nation into sequestration.  It is something that the cretins at Newport News Shipbuilding who voted for Mitt Romney and Scott Rigell take the time to remember as they receive their pink slips and notices that they are being laid off.   Ditto for Virginia Beach GOP voters who will hopefully now take a financial hit as well  The New York Times looks at the actual cheering the the House GOP engaged in as the despicable John Boehner ended all talks to avoid sequester yesterday.  Here are article excerpts:

WASHINGTON — Speaker John A. Boehner, the man who spent significant portions of the last Congress shuttling to and from the White House for fiscal talks with President Obama that ultimately failed twice to produce a grand bargain, has come around to the idea that the best negotiations are no negotiations.

As the president and Congressional Democrats have tried to force Mr. Boehner back to the table for talks to head off the automatic budget cuts set to take effect on Friday, Mr. Boehner has instead dug in deeper, refusing to even discuss an increase in revenue and insisting in his typical colorful language that it was time for the Senate to produce a measure aimed at the cuts. 

“The revenue issue is now closed,” Mr. Boehner said Thursday, before the House left town for the weekend without acting on the cuts and a Senate attempt to avert them died.

While the frustrations of Congressional Democrats and Mr. Obama with Mr. Boehner are reaching a fever pitch, House Republicans could not be more pleased with their leader. 

“We asked him to commit to us that when the cuts actually came on March 1, that he would stand firm and not give in, and he’s holding to that,” said Representative Steve Scalise, Republican of Louisiana and chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee. “I think Friday will be an important day that shows we’re finally willing to stand and fight for conservative principles and force Washington to start living within its means. And that will be a big victory.” 

Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, said that on the whole, he thought the spending cuts were a welcome development for which Mr. Boehner deserves credit.  

Mr. Boehner seems not only to have engendered the good will of his conference but also to have locked in place the spending cuts Republicans have been fighting for. “That’s a big win, to finally stand firm on cutting spending,” Mr. Scalise said.
 It's more than clear who the economic saboteurs really are.

American Sociological Association Files Prop 8 Brief Demolishing Arguments Against Gay Parenting

One of the favored arguments of the anti-gay hate merchant crowd is to claim that same sex parenting results in impaired or less well adjusted children.  Like most every thing that comes out of their mouths this effort to denigrate and stigmatize gays isn't true but is used as part of the Christofascist smoke screen to avoid admitting that only one thing lies behind DOMA and Proposition 8: religious based prejudice if not outright hate and animus.  Yesterday, the American Sociological Association ("ASA") filed amicus briefs in the Proposition 8 and DOMA appeals before the U. S. Supreme Court that stopped just short of calling the defenders of Proposition 8 and the falsely named Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives outright liars.  Here is an excerpt from the ASA press release on the brief:

“An issue at the heart of these cases is whether family composition, per se, affects the well-being of children and thus, provides a justification for limiting the right to marry,” said Ridgeway, the Lucie Stern Professor of Social Sciences in the Sociology Department at Stanford University. “This core question is an empirical one and is the subject of a broad range of social science research. As a scientific body, ASA has a duty to provide the court with a systematic and balanced review of the evidence to assess what the consensus of scholarly research has shown.”

In their briefs to the court, the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group of the U.S. House of Representatives, which is defending DOMA, the Hollingsworth Petitioners, which are defending Proposition 8, and their respective supporters assert that children fare better with opposite-sex parents than with same-sex parents.

“When the social science evidence is exhaustively examined—which the ASA has done—the facts demonstrate that children fare just as well when raised by same-sex parents,” states the ASA amicus brief. “Unsubstantiated fears regarding same-sex child rearing do not overcome these facts and do not justify upholding DOMA and Proposition 8.”

Of course the supporters of DOMA and Proposition 8 care nothing about what science and empirical evidence shows because their sole agenda is to force their religious beliefs on all Americans and to subvert the First Amendment guarantee of religious freedom to all Americans, not just the Christofascists.   It's all about them and, truth be told, they don't give a damn about children.  Here are excerpts from the ASA briefs:

However, the claim that same-sex parents produce less positive child outcomes than opposite-sex parents—either because such families lack both a male and female parent or because both parents are not the biological parents of their children—contradicts abundant social science research. Decades of methodologically sound social science research, especially multiple nationally representative studies and the expert evidence introduced in the district courts below, confirm that positive child wellbeing is the product of stability in the relationship between the two parents, stability in the relationship between the parents and child, and greater parental socioeconomic resources. Whether a child is raised by same-sex or opposite-sex parents has no bearing on a child’s wellbeing.

The clear and consistent consensus in the social science profession is that across a wide range of indicators, children fare just as well when they are raised by same-sex parents when compared to children raised by opposite-sex parents. The social science studies cited by BLAG, Proposition 8 Proponents, and their amici to support their arguments fail to address same-sex parents at all. Accordingly, as a matter of science, these studies cannot serve as the basis for conclusions about same-sex parents and related child outcomes and do not undermine the social science consensus that children fare just as well with same-sex parents.
To the extent some of the studies cited by BLAG and the Proposition 8 Proponents show that stability improves child outcomes, they confirm that marriage rights for same-sex couples and the federal recognition of such marriages are likely to improve the wellbeing of children of same-sex parents by providing enhanced family stability. The research presented in this brief articulates these points in greater detail, and demonstrates that the government’s interest in promoting the wellbeing of children is neither substantially nor rationally connected to DOMA or Proposition 8, because the overwhelming scientific evidence shows clearly that same-sex couples are equally capable of generating positive child outcomes.
 The sad truth is that nowadays, no one lies more than the self-anointed "godly Christian" crowd and its political whore and sycophants in the GOP.   If their lips are moving, it is a safe bet that they are lying.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

More Thursday Male Beauty

U. S. Justice Department Files Brief Asking that Proposition 8 Be Struck Down

After playing to coy all week, the Obama Justice Department has filed an amicus brief in support of the gay Appellee in the appeal of the 9th Circuit ruling that found Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional.  The Justice Department's brief is one of a host of briefs filed by parties ranging from PFLAG to prominent Republicans - a full list and descriptions of such briefs can be found here - that argue positions that vary from the proposition that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional to arguing that the U. S. Constitution requires marriage equality nation wide.  The Justice Department brief can be found here.  Here are some excerpts from the Justice Department brief:

[T]he president and attorney general have determined that classifications based on sexualorientation should be subject to heightened scrutiny for equal protection purposes. 12-307 J.A. 183-194 (letter from Eric H. Holder, Jr., Attorney General of the United States, to John A. Boehner, Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives (Feb. 23, 2011). this case, like Windsor,presents the Court with the opportunity to address the question whether laws that target gay and lesbian people for discriminatory treatment should be subject to heightened scrutiny.

[C]classifications based on sexual orientation call for application of heightened scrutiny. Each of the four relevant considerations identified by this Court supports that conclusion: (1) gay and lesbian people have suffered a significant history of discrimination in this country; (2) sexual orientation generally bears no relation to ability to perform or contribute to society; (3) discrimination against gay and lesbian people is based on an immutable or distinguishing characteristic that defines them as a group; and (4) notwithstanding certain progress, gay and lesbian people—as proposition 8 itself underscores— are a minority group with limited power to protect themselves from adverse outcomes in the political process.

B. Proposition 8 fails heightened scrutiny. Neither the interests asserted by Petitioners nor Proposition 8’s “actual purposes” as approved by its official sponsors suffice under that standard.

First, petitioners’ central argument is that Proposition 8 advances an interest in responsible procreation and child-rearing because only heterosexual couples can produce “unintended pregnancies,” and because the “overriding purpose” of marriage is to address thatreality by affording a stable institution for procreation and child-rearing. But, as this Court has recognized, marriage is far more than a societal means of dealing with unintended pregnancies. see Turner v. Safley, 482 U.S.. 78, 95-96 (1987); Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1, 12 (1967). Even assuming, counterfactually, that the point of proposition 8 was to account for accidental offspring by opposite-sex couples, its denial of the right to marry to same-sex couples does not substantially further that interest.

Second, petitioners argue that Proposition 8 furthers an interest in proceeding with caution before departing from the traditional understanding of marriage. That was not one of the contemporaneous justifications for Proposition 8 and thus cannot properly be consideredunder heightened scrutiny. in any event, similar calls to wait have been advanced—and properly rejected—in the context of racial integration, for example. see, e.g., Fiatson v. City of Memphis, 373U.S. 526, 528-529 (1963). Even if proceeding with caution were important enough to deny gay and lesbian people the right to marry in California now, Proposition 8 does not embody such an approach but rather goes to the opposite extreme.

.  .  .  [P]rotecting children from being taught about same-sex marriage is not a permissible interest insofar as it rests on a moral judgment about gay and lesbian people or their intimate relationships. see Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 577-578 (2003). nor does Proposition 8 substantially further any such interest given California’s educational policies, which have never required teaching children about same-sex marriage and which prohibit instruction that discriminates based on sexual orientation.

Proposition 8’s denial of marriage to same-sex couples, particularly where California at the same time grants same-sex partners all the substantive rights of marriage, violates equal protection. the fourteenth amendment’s guarantee of equal protection embodies a defining constitutional ideal that “all persons similarly situated should be treated alike.”City of Cleburne v. Cleburne Living Ctr., 473 U.S. 432, 439 (1985). The object of California’s establishment of the legal relationshipof domestic partnership is to grant committed same-sex couples rights equivalent to those accorded a married couple. But Proposition 8, by depriving same sex couples of the right to marry, denies them the “dignity, respect, and stature” accorded similarly situated opposite-sex couples under state law, Strauss, 207 p.3d at 72, and does not substantially further any important  governmental interest. it thereby denies them equal protection under the law.

.  .  .  even assuming that creating a safety net for “unintended pregnancies” was an actual and adequate justification, Proposition 8 does not advance—much less bear a substantial relation to—that interest. petitioners (unsurprisingly) cite no evidence that denying same-sex couples the designation of marriage operates in any way to encourage opposite-sex couples to marry and procreate responsibly; it is difficult to conceive of any logical connection, let alone a substantial one, between that interest and Proposition 8. see pet. app. 75a (“we are aware of no basis on which this argument would be even conceivably plausible.”); cf. Lawrence, 539 U.S. at 605(Scalia, j., dissenting) (rejecting “encouragement of procreation” as a basis for prohibiting same-sex marriage “since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry”).

‘‘Prejudice, we are beginning to understand, rises not from malice or hostile animus alone. it may result as well from insensitivity caused by simple want of careful, rational reflection or from some instinctive mechanism to guard against people who appear to be different in some respects from ourselves.” Board of Trs. ofUuniv.of Ala. v. Garrett, 531 U.S.. 356, 374 (2001) (Kennedy, j., concurring). Prejudice may not, however, be the basis for differential treatment under the law.

There's much more, but you get the point.  There is NOTHING to support Proposition 8 - and similar constitutional amendments such as Virginia's - except religious based discrimination and out right animus.   If anything, the Justice Department is too polite to the religious and extremists who support Proposition 8.  They seek to punish gays, lesbians and same sex couples for refusing to conform to the hate, ignorance and  fear based tenants of far right Christianity.  That is their true agenda first and last and Proposition 8 personifies this anti-gay animus.  End of discussion.