Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Prop 8 To The Supremes Plus Some Interesting Poll Data

This is a group photo of the USCCB hearing the recent news about where their lay flock stands on the issues they have been bleating about.

The US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has voted by a 2-1 margin to strike down California's Prop 8, stating it violates the 14th amendment to the US constitution.  That's the troublesome one which guarantees equal protection for all.  The NOM crowd is not pleased, and will start petitioning for more funding to take this ruling to the Supreme Court.  While they are at it they should probably come up with some better arguments.  The ones they used in front of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals didn't impress the judges.  The following is taken from Catholic News Service:

"Although the Constitution permits communities to enact most laws they believe to be desirable, it requires that there be at least a legitimate reason for the passage of a law that treats different classes of people differently," said the majority decision, written by Judge Stephen Reinhardt. "There was no such reason that Proposition 8 could have been enacted."

"Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California," it added.

All Proposition 8 did, the court said, was to strip same-sex couples of "the right to obtain and use the designation of 'marriage' to describe their relationships. Nothing more, nothing less. Proposition 8 therefore could not have been enacted to advance California's interests in childrearing or responsible procreation, for it had no effect on the rights of same-sex couples to raise children or on the procreative practices of other couples. Nor did Proposition 8 have any effect on religious freedom or on parents' rights to control their children's education."

Onward and upward as they say.  The CNS article also had the statistics from a just released Pew Forum Poll on the gay marriage issue.  Things have changed quite a bit in one year:

 A Pew Forum analysis on attitudes toward same-sex marriage by religion released Feb. 7 said Catholics supported same-sex marriage 52 percent to 37 percent, with 11 percent undecided as of an October 2011 survey. That is up from a 46 percent favorable opinion (42 percent unfavorable) in a survey conducted in August and September 2010.

Hispanic Catholics are split, 42 percent to 42 percent, on same-sex marriage, while white Catholics approve of same-sex marriage by a margin of 57 percent to 35 percent.

Overall, same-sex marriage was favored by Americans 46 percent to 44 percent in the 2011 poll; in the 2010 survey, it was opposed 48 percent to 42 percent. The only religious groups remaining opposed to same-sex marriage in the latest survey were white evangelicals, 74 percent to 19 percent, and black Protestants, 62 to 30. Protestants overall remain opposed to gay marriage, 58 to 34.

Those numbers represent a significant switch in just 12 months.  Given the reversal on the Komen decision and the release of two separate polls of American attitudes to the HHS religious freedom/birth control dust up--which also did not favor the USCCB position--this has not been a propitious week for the USCCB.  The Catholic sheople are not being very good sheople.  Maybe the lesson here is the more the shepherd sheople bleat the Vatican line, the less the lay sheople are inclined to follow.


  1. Colleen, the clear lesson of Church history is that the bishops in fact do not lead opinion in the Church - they follow. (John Boswell showed this clearly for same - sex relationships, showing how the changing degree of official hostility following changing levels of public intolerance,for homosexuals, Jews and gypsies alike).

    Catholic bishops are out of touch with the Catholic Church - and also with other faith leaders. I am fascinated by the growing number of religious leaders from other denominations who are speaking up in favour of justice and equality in marriage.
    In just the past week, there've been declarations of support from the Anglican Bishop of Salisbury, and the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, DC. After the victory in New York last year, some Episcopal bishops in the state responded by requiring their priests who were living with same sex partners, to either marry them, or end the cohabitation. What all these bishops have in common, and that sets them apart from their Catholic counterparts, is that they are themselves married, and so have some experiential understanding of what marriage really is all about.

    You have often commented (correctly) on the patriarchal nature of the Catholic church. When we finally break down this patriarchal distortion, and the ecclesiolatry of the clerical caste, we will make progress. Until then, real Catholics will simply disregard the bleatings of their self-appointed leaders.

  2. Shaun the sheep and his chums are a poor illustration for the USCCB's demented preaching against gay marriage and contraception.

    Shaun the sheep is smart: he exhibits human intelligence, creativity, and decent behaviour to the flock in his escapades. He's not daft; he's a clever sheep and keeps his head.

    I know I really, really should get out more, but as a British fan of this national treasure of ours - the excellent subversive work of Aardman animations - I must bleat up to defend Shaun's reputation. Aardman animations's works are gay friendly and female characters take leading roles.

    Lemmings hurtling over a cliff might be a better illustration of these daft bishop delusions.
    Or you could try one of these images http://wglb-tv.blogspot.com/2010/09/minnesota-catholic-bishops-mailing.html
    Christian homophobia http://catholicactionuk.blogspot.com/2009/05/another-anti-catholic-conference-from.html
    Freedom to marry http://gayusathemovie.com/2011/09/call-to-action-against-frc-ads-in-north-carolina-anti-lgbt-marriage-amendment/

  3. Great links anon. Didn't mean to dis Shaun the sheep. My ignorance is showing. Muppets rule here in the States, and I've used them too--and out of context.