As far as Brown vs. Board of Education - this was not judicial legislation but this was upholding existing Constitutional Law.
And that's exactly what this is - the upholding of the 14th Amendment's equal protection under the law. States passed laws saying blacks and whites had different rights; the Court struck them down. States have passed laws saying gays and straights have different rights; the Court is striking them down.
The statement that separate institutes are inherently unequal is flawed and has set a terrible precedent that has been the basis for other terrible decisions such as the Connecticut Sheff vs. O'Neil case which ignores the quality of schools and says that as long as you artificially integrate non-minority students into a failing minority school district it doesn't matter that the minority students there are getting a terrible education, it basically reduced "equality" to the game of bean counting, much like affirmative action does.
As a teacher myself, I'd argue that separate is
unequal - for instance, I have a male coworker teaching next door. He's a very funny guy and builds great rapport with students; conversely, I tend to be a little more formal in the classroom but I have much greater expertise than he does. Being in my classroom or his classroom is a vastly different experience, and could impact a student's endeavors significantly. A difference in school funding, location, or student body composition will make a far more imposing impact than a mere switch-around of teachers.
Sure, current methods of fighting school segregation may not be terribly effective. However, instituting gay marriage doesn't present any such obstacle - you just let gay people use the current marriage forms, instead of creating a whole new bureaucracy to route them around.
There is also a stark difference between Brown vs. BoE and the current cases of gay marriage being fought. In several States there were Civil Union laws that mirrored the benefits of marriage (at the State level). Since DOMA has not been overturned and is currently the law of the land, a Civil Union law can grant the exact same rights as marriage (since a same sex marriage will not be recognized federally or by other States. In effect the Civil Union is perfectly equal to to Marriage, and since the 14th Amendment states that you have to provide equal rights and protection and does not state that the vehicle by which those rights and protections are received must be the same the argument is moot.
Firstly, you're wrong about civil unions granting the same benefits as marriage - civil unions never
grant federal benefits, for instance, including Social Security and Medicare, which are huge, and as the federal government doesn't issue marriage licenses, it's a states issue. Many states also limit the benefits of civil unions, and quite a number of states do not recognize civil unions at all, not even ones performed in other states, which is a direct violation of the "full faith and credit" clause of the Constitution.
I am all for the gay movement seeking equal rights, what annoys me is that they don't seem to want equal rights - they want equal access to a term. The civil rights movement was not about equal access to terms, it was truly about equal rights. Facilities provided to blacks in the south were uniformly inferior to those provided to whites. Educational services, drinking fountains, seats within a facility, seats on a bus, were inferior. The reason for the Brown vs. BoE decision was not that separate but equal was inherently unconstitutional, but because separate but equal did not exist in the South, and in terms of physical facilities it is almost impossible to create separate but equal. This isn't the same when you are talking about a set of legal rights, you can easily establish marriage and civil unions to be legally equal.
Except it's not marriage
. Marriage is a hugely significant term, especially for women. I struggle to come up with an appropriate analogy; as marriage is a religious term, perhaps religion draws the best comparison - being told you can't get married is like being told you can't refer to yourself as Catholic/Protestant/Jew/etc. any more. It's a loss of identity that stretches far beyond eight small letters. As white and black drinking fountains were often close to each other, I might apply your argument there too - it's not harmful
to have to use that fountain instead of this one, right? Except it is, psychologically, and as a society we've long since acknowledged that harm does not need to be physical to be hurtful.
The comparison between the gay movement and the civil rights movement is also particularly insulting. We don't have separate drinking fountains for gays, we don't force gays to stand or sit at the back of buses, we don't deny gays the right to vote. Not to belittle the trials and issues that gays in our country have had to overcome, and they have had many to overcome, the blanket oppression, segregation, and abuse of homosexuals is not on par with with blacks had to face in our country.
Transgender individuals have often been barred from one public restroom or another; gay individuals have been thrown out of hotels or bed and breakfasts run by bigots. You're right that the LGBT community has escaped much of the institutionalized overt violence African-Americans experienced, but justice isn't a limited quantity to be awarded only to the most worthy. Everyone deserves equality.
Comparing the civil rights struggles of African-Americans and LGBT folks is not insulting, it's perfectly apt. The cases are practically identical, and they draw on each other for legal support, such as Loving v. Virginia.
I would also ask that you perhaps attempt to tone down the vitriol of your responses. Much of your language use seemed inflammatory and needlessly condescending.
You say 'bitch' like it's a bad thing!
But as someone who would have voted for Prop 8 had I lived in California on the basis of my arguments in this thread, and as someone who has voted for candidates who are favor of both civil unions and gay marriage, and as someone who would have no issue voting for either gay marriage or civil unions were to the topic to come up in a situation where I was voting for it I actively defy your claim that everyone who was for Proposition 8 must be a bigot.
Okay, so - you will not
vote for same-sex marriage, but you will
vote for same-sex marriage? Pardon me if I have trouble following your logic here.
Social movements have to do their time, put in their dues, and work hard to make things happen.
Your argument boils down to this: "I want you to have civil rights, but I don't want you to have them right now." That's a pretty horrid argument.
As for putting in dues, well, Galileo Galilei wrote in 1632 that there was evidence to support the theory that the Earth went around the Sun. In 1992
, the Pope pardoned him for saying that. That's 370 years. It took the Catholic Church 370 years to admit that they made a mistake in censuring Galileo for demonstrating scientific fact. Frankly, as a Catholic, I'm pretty sure it's gonna take more than 370 years from now for the Catholic Church to admit that LGBT people aren't sinners. If I find a same-sex partner, I am not willing to wait nearly four centuries to get married.