You’d think the uber-lefty talking heads at Huffington Post would be wildly rejoicing over the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings in the Supreme Court. But actually, HuffPo Live’s panel complained on June 26 that the decisions weren’t quite pro-gay enough.
The entirely one-sided, pro-gay panel did celebrate the victory but also voiced discontent with the broadness and vagueness of the decisions. Brian Silva, executive director of a pro-gay-marriage group, for instance, emphasized that gay activists have a long way yet to go: “This covers 13 states,” he declared, “but all the other states are waiting for ... that security and that comfort and that protection.”
Elie Mystal, a law commentator, lamented that the decision was not “as sweeping as it could have been,” especially the Prop 8 ruling. “It was important and awesome and great,” he said, “But limited in scope,” adding the claim that LGBT couples are “living under intense bigotry.” Mystal denounced Kennedy’s opinion of the Court as “gobbedly-gook” for its vagueness.
HuffPo Host Mike Sacks clarified that in “some way” LGBT rights will be protected by the decisions, but Silva was swift to point out that the ruling didn’t legalize same-sex marriage. “The whole of DOMA [was] not struck down,” complained Silva, clarifying that only the federal-protection section was declared unconstitutional. “What will have to happen is that we’ll have to get marriage equality in all 50 states,” he said.
Mystal then insisted that the Court should have acted with “more clarity,” and asserted that for pro-gays, there is “certainly a level of bitterness, of loss here because there was a real opportunity to take … a much stronger stand for gay rights and for equality that the court shrunk away from at the last.”
Sacks agreed that perhaps the not-gay-enough decision was a sign that the court was fearful of “getting ahead of public opinion,” but complained that had the Prop 8 ruling addressed equal protection, “we could have had sweeping marriage equality.”
HuffPo’s “Gay Voices” editor, Noah Michelson, took the opportunity to declare that he doesn’t support marriage in general and to slam conservatives, calling it “ridiculous” to be worried about redefining marriage. He also called the American Family Association “jokers” and categorized them with the controversial Westboro Baptist Church. “This is … awesome, but marriage is just one small part of the total package,” Michelson concluded, “We still have to get … trans on board … there are kids getting bullied … We still have a lot of work to do.” (A fairly mild statement for Michelson.)
Silva summed up the attitude of the panel when he labeled the rulings “bittersweet.” “It’s a step forward but it’s not the full step forward,” he complained.