What I’m about to tell you may surprise you. It may shock you. It may even upset you. But it must be said. Here it goes: Judges are people. And, if that’s not enough: Some people are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender, too.
Honestly, I figured the secret infiltration of human gays onto courts across the U.S. was, well, secret.
But right-wing luminary, and alleged human, Mat Staver is on to us.
On Jan. 11, Staver was on a right-wing radio show and asked about Andrew McDonald, the first openly gay man nominated as a justice of Connecticut’s Supreme Court. Spoiler alert: Staver no like.
You see, according to Staver, a gay judge couldn’t possibly be fair to Christians who appear before him. Probably the mere presence of Christians causes an LGBTQ person’s skin to turn red and smolder. Prolonged exposure causes horns to sprout and leads to spontaneous combustion.
So you can imagine the terrible scene that would commence if, say, anti-gay cake bakers appeared in front of McDonald arguing they shouldn’t have to bake cakes for gays. McDonald wouldn’t even be able to hear them over his agonized cries while he bursts into flames. And then, before you know it, the courtroom turns into the very pit of Hell and everybody dies.
No wonder Staver’s upset.
Referencing bakers in Colorado and Oregon who were found guilty of discrimination against gay couples, Staver told radio host Jim Schneider, “What we typically see is someone’s identity, their being, completely wrapped up in their sexual practices, meaning that — do you think if you had an Aaron and Melissa Klein or a Jack Phillips bakery or anything else like that where you have the LGBT clash with religious freedom or freedom of expression come before [McDonald], do you think this judge is going to be open and fair irrespective of what he does to rule based on the Constitution and the rule of law? I don’t think so.”
Note that Staver says “irrespective of what he does,” not “of who he is.” That’s because to Staver, a gay man isn’t a human being so much as a series of sexual acts that Staver finds disgusting and considers immoral.
Staver compared McDonald to Judge Alex Kozinski who recently resigned in disgrace from his position on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after multiple women alleged that he showed them pornography on his computer when they worked as clerks in his court.
“So, imagine a case coming before [Kozinski], and he’s so wrapped up in this pornography, and [the case is] about pornography or it’s about sexual molestation of someone. Do you think you’re going to get a fair shake out of that guy?” Staver muses. “I don’t think so.”
Since porn and molestation are not the same, it’s unclear what Staver is getting at besides an expectation that Kozinski might end each ruling with, “I rule in favor of porn because porn rules [eggplant emoji].”
“The question is: are you going to get a fair shake out of [McDonald] who identifies as someone based upon his sexual practices, who is identified and identifies himself based upon certain behavior?” Staver said.
It’s an intelligent argument. If a judge and a plaintiff’s identity conflicts in any way then a fair ruling is impossible. So we must keep LGBTQ people off the bench. Though if we were to follow Staver’s logic, people who identify as heterosexual must also be kept off of the bench since that, too, is identity-based in part on sexual practices and particular behavior. So I guess the only solution is to have only robot judges.
Thank god there isn’t a lot of robot research these days devoted to the creation of sex robots, right? [Searches “sex robot research” on Google] Oh, wait. Never mind.
D’Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer, and comedian living in Michigan with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter @MamaDWitkowski.