If Gays Can’t Rule on Gays, Can Whites Rule on Whites?
Posted by BroadBlogs
Anti-gay rights activists want to overturn a ruling to allow same-sex marriage in California. In their most recent attempt, they maintained that because San Francisco Chief Judge Vaughn Walker is gay, and could personally benefit, he acted with bias when he rendered his decision. This week Judge James Ware rejected the claim, calling it warrantless.
No one calls “bias” when whites or men make rulings that benefit them. Affirmative action cases, for instance. White Justices have been known to rule in ways that would benefit their own white children and grandchildren.
Meanwhile, Chief Justice John Roberts seems to vote consistently
in ways that benefit Republicans, and therefore himself, as a member of that
party. As court watcher, Jeffrey Toobin, observes, “In every major case
since he became the nation’s seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with
the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive
branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual
plaintiff… Roberts has served the interests, and reflected the values, of the
contemporary Republican Party.” Yet no one says that Roberts should recuse
himself from said cases.
Worries of bias seem only to rise when members of the LGBT community, women and people of color hold positions of judicial power. Many wondered whether Sonia Sotomayor could judge without favoritism as a Latina.
Meanwhile, in their search for justice gays, women and ethnic minorities have usually been at the mercy of white, straight, males. In the past it’s been argued that minority judges can’t be objective on affirmative action. Why would a white judge be fairer? It has been claimed that women can’t be objective on abortion rights. Why would a male judge be fairer? And now accusations that gays cannot rule objectively on gay marriage. Why is
the privileged perspective constantly deemed more fair-minded?
Why? Because most of our information has come to us over the years through straight, white men’s eyes, whether via the media or over the political, corporate, or religious pulpit. We are so inundated that after a lifetime, their view comes to seem like the “normal” and unbiased way of seeing.
But really, if gays can’t rule on issues affecting gays, should whites be allowed to rule on matters that impact whites?
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About BroadBlogsI have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych, women's psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State University. I blog for Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos.
Posted on June 17, 2011, in feminism, gender, LGBT/gay rights, psychology, race/ethnicity, sexism, women and tagged androcentrism, culture, feminism, gender, Judge James Ware, Judge Vaughn Walker, LGBT Month, psychology, race/ethnicity, racism, same-sex marriage, sexism, social psychology, women. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.