Not A Nellie, Just Nervous

I’ve
always gotten a kick out of the term Nervous Nellies despite its mildly
homophobic undertones. Lyndon Johnson was fond of calling peaceniks that, which
clearly implied they weren’t Texas-style manly men. Actually, it takes a
helluva lot more courage to oppose going to war in a culture that *thinks* it
loves war until, that is, we enter one and do not win within 44 seconds. Then,
the worm turns and hawks develop white plumage and dash into a dovecote or
something like that.

You’re
probably where the post is going and so do I. Oh yeah, the Supremes taking cert
on the DOMA and Prop-8 gay marriage cases. My memory kicked in just in time…

I
don’t know about you, but I’m as nervous as a Baptist in a distillery over
this. I would *prefer* that the Supremes had punted on the California case
because I’m afraid that they will Californicate it up. While it’s true that
Justice Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in Lawrence v. Texas that overruled anti-sodomy laws, it’s equally
true that he’s steadily drifted to the right since John Roberts became Chief.
I’d hate to bet the ranch on his constancy to gay rights. Ranch? Sounds like another LBJ reference to
me…

The
DOMA case is less nerve wracking but-as one of those wild-eyed liberals who
would force everyone to gay marry, smoke pot, and get an abortion whether they
have a vagina or not-I don’t trust the Roberts Court to get that one right
either. I can just imagine Scalia quoting Bill Clinton when he signed DOMA into
law. Hopefully, it will be in a dissenting opinion.

There
have been times in the last year or two that I’ve felt the need to pinch myself
over the rapid progress of gay rights in the court of public opinion during my
lifetime. When George McGovern had the temerity in 1972 to treat same-sexers as
human beings, he was pilloried for being soft on sodomites. When Bill Clinton
tried in 1992 to allow gays to serve in the military, we ended up with DADT,
which made a bad situation even worse.

Do
I need to go on? Probably not, you all know about 2004 and 2008. In the last 2
or 3 years, however, there has been a sea change with the repeal of DADT and
the President of the United States taking a stand in favor of gay marriage.
Sure, his support was belated, but it made a huge impact in the
African-American community, which has come to see it as a civil rights issue. Hell, even Tory Prime Minister David Cameron is for gay marriage, can you imagine Mrs. Thatcher taking that stance? Of course, at her peak, she did resemble a drag queen so…

I
posted a few years ago about my acquaintance with Harvey Milk
. Harvey firmly
believed that coming out of the closet held the key to the future of gay
rights in our country. He was absolutely right. It is why we find ourselves a
better and more tolerant society a mere 34 years after Harvey was assassinated
by a demented former colleague. Since he’s my personal Voldemort, I shan’t
mention his name but his lawyer popularized the so-called Twinkie defense. I expect the CEO who killed off Hostess to use it some time soon…

34
years may sound like a long time but in the context of the struggle for equal
rights, it’s yesterday. A yesterday, I might add, when I had a full head of
hair and more of my senses, but I digress. The progress on this issue has been
remarkable, and while more needs to be done, many young people simply do not
understand homophobia because-unless they live in East Jesus, Alabama-they
know and like members of the LGBT community. Empty closets = open minds. Sounds kinda bumperstickery, doesn’t it?

On
a personal note, I’ll never forget how my parents freaked out when they learned
I had a gay man as a roommate in <shudder> San Francisco in 1980. My
mom’s freak out was fairly mild, she had a positive stereotype of gay men: as a
realtor, she loved renting to them because they were “tidy tenants”
and, her ultimate compliment, “nice.”

My
father was concerned that I’d catch teh gay but he never understood what made
me tick anyway. Even then I was not a Nellie but merely nervous over the
prospect of Reagan winning the White House. Btw, I threatened to emigrate but
ended up migrating to the Gret Stet of Louisiana a few years later. So much for
consistency.

Back
to Anthony Kennedy and his elderly backup singers, the Supremes. (They look more like the Pips but Kennedy is no Gladys Knight.) I hope they do
the right thing but the best we can hope for are *limited* rulings in support
of gay marriage. They’re not going all the way but here’s hoping that Kennedy
doesn’t go all Nervous Nellie on us and side with the troglodytes on the Court.

4 thoughts on “Not A Nellie, Just Nervous

  1. MichaelF says:

    I’m guessing Scalia will draft, well, hope this doesn’t offend anyone, quite a bitchy opinion…whether it concurs with the majority or minority is the real question…because I’m also guessing that while he will NOT be ignored, the other justices aren’t likely to join in what’s bound to be a raging polemic.
    And while it’s small comfort (and I think I’ve mentioned this before in comments here), it’s a bit of justice for old Tony: for all his pretensions towards high minded legal scholarship, his legacy and history will forever be Bush v. Gore, the epitome of hack/lousy opinions…and a few rhetorical spitballs as he fades into insignificance.

  2. Aaaargh says:

    We’ll be lucky if we end up with a decision that doesn’t require homosexuals to wear pink triangles, frankly. The people who appealed these cases to the Supremes are out of their fricking minds. Everything that has been fought and won will be lost in a twinkling as a result of this. What kind of idiotic idealist appeals to a bunch like the current Court?
    The only thing that *might* bring the correct decision is if Roger Ailes, Boehner, et al. let Roberts know that having another Roe v. Wade to wave around as an endless fundraiser from the brain-dead would be a good thing for the GOP.

  3. adrastos says:

    Cases were appealed by the anti-marriage equality claque.

  4. Interrobang says:

    I’m still trying to figure out how, in my mother’s immortal words, same-sex marriage picks anyone’s pockets or breaks anyone’s leg. As you know, it has been legal for years here in Soviet Canuckistan, and so far, the sky has *not* fallen.

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