Now, if you're playing to win, you have to field a well-rounded team. Nowhere is this more true than in the Civil Rights movement. Winning over pop culture is nice, but that's not the goal. We need cultural leaders on our side as well. We need legislatures writing laws to protect the weak. We need courts to enforce those laws, and strike down those that violate our principles. I've often heard that there are people out there who question the value of victories in the Courts, that legislative victories are more important.
Legislatures are about compromise. They're about discussion and voting and convincing people, all too often using underhanded tactics. I like convincing people, but I acknowledged a long time ago, that "Society" had made an enemy of me. Society attacked me for being smart, for being short, for not understanding its games, and for not being a rich Christian heterosexual. Legislature is too social for me to place much faith in it. When a body votes in my favor, I see them glad-handing and money-spending that went into it, and place little faith that the same process that ruled in my favor would stay in my favor.
I like to believe, and am sometimes reassured in this belief, that Courts are about reason. That what holds sway in the courtroom really is the strength of your argument. There are dirty underhanded tactics in jury systems, but when it comes to appeals, it's just me, you, and the written word. Laws come and go, but (in most governments) Constitutions are harder to change. They are clearer and better thought out. They are reasonable and logical, if idiosyncratic at times. So when a Courtroom looks at the body of law and comes to the same conclusion I do, that reaffirms my faith in reason. It helps me to believe that I'm not crazy when I talk about equality and justice.
Iowa Court Says Gay Marriage Ban Is Unconstitutional moves me to tears. Vermont: House Passes Same-Sex Marriage Bill doesn't.
I (foolishly) decided to look at the comments on the Iowa article. They are overwhelmingly in agreement with me, but this one caught my eye: "Sad day for America. Tradition and values are dead. What's next?" America declared war on tradition in 1607 when the people of Jamestown decided to treat Jews like everybody else. Every cultural shift in this country has been another battle in that war. I look forward to the day that Tradition is dead, that we can actually live as idealistic reasonable human beings without an "appeal to authority" treated as an argument destroying trump card.