Politics A Very Special Interview with Anti-Marriage Equality Justice Barbara Madsen
posted by October 12 at 9:32 AMon
If youíre like me, youíre probably wondering how a person with a conscience could write the majority opinion in which the Washington State Supreme court denied gay men and lesbians the right to marry. The only way to answer that question is to ask Justice Madsen herself. (Please note that the following conversation takes place entirely in my imagination and is therefore 1,000 percent accurate. Feel free to crib the questions and the answers for candidate interviews!).
JUSTICE MADSEN: Hello, Dr. Dobson?
ORIGINAL ANDREW: No, this is Original Andrew calling for our scheduled interview.
MADSEN: Right, sorry, I was expecting a very important call from Colorado Springs. So, you mentioned that your readers would like to know more about me since Iíll probably be running for re-election in 2010.
OA: Yes, so letís start with your background.
MADSEN: Well, my official bio on the Washington Courts home page says that I grew up in Renton and graduated from the University of Washington in 1974, then earned my law degree from Gonzaga University in 1977. I worked as a public defender, Seattle city prosecutor, then as a Municipal Judge before being elected to the Washington State Supreme Court in 1992. Iíve received a ton of important sounding awards, none of which are relevant right now but all of which are strangely ironic given my recent ruling. Iím also the chair of the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission, which must be one of those right-wing Republican groups whose goal is the opposite of what its name implies.
My husband and I have four children, and we never had to suffer the indignity of begging the courts and those piranhas in the legislature to allow us to get married.
OA: Uh, right. So, letís talk about the Andersen case. Tell us why gay men and women donít deserve equality.
MADSEN: Now hold on one moment, I never said that. If you read my ruling closely, youíll notice that itís chock-a-block full of meaningless moral equivocations and focus group tested lies that I used to totally abdicate my ethical and legal responsibilities to protect minorities from the tyranny of a majority that pathologically hates them for their own specious reasons.
OA: In other words, you donít agree with the legislatureís debasement and denigration of an entire group of people and their families to score cheap political points, but youíll happily rubber stamp it.
MADSEN: Only if itís politically expedient, and you can bet that Gerry Alexander will back me up on that. Look, Iím against all forms of discrimination, except when Iím for them, which is only when it matters. Just like Iím against judicial lynching, literally and figuratively, except when I hear about two men or two women who need the rights, responsibilities and protections that civil marriage provides, then Iím all for it. And I totally believe in equal protection, but only as long as it just means that all wealthy, white heterosexuals are treated the same under the law.
Besides, I noted in my ruling that there is no discrimination since neither a man nor a woman may marry someone of the same sex, which I really canít take credit for since itís a copy and paste job from the rulings of those racist judges in the South who wrote that bans on inter-racial marriage arenít discriminatory because neither whites nor blacks may marry someone of the other race so everyone is treated the same. (Laughs) Those white trash crackers really knew how to turn their state constitutions into an open sham with an Orwellian-style turn of a phrase, didnít they?
OA: So, you would allow the legislature to pass a law like the one in Nigeria that makes not only same-sex marriages illegal, but also makes even friendships between homosexuals punishable by imprisonment or death?
MADSEN: Absolutely, you see the legislature is entitled to believe that limiting friendships to heterosexuals is rational because heterosexual friendships are the only ones that religious leaders tell me can thrive. Heterosexuals would lose all interest in socializing if homosexuals were allowed to have friends or family members. See, I donít make the rules here; I just go with the flow.
We donít know what challenges the future holds in terms of civil rights and human rights, but you can be absolutely confident that we will fail to meet them.
OA: Lower courts, other statesí Supreme Courts as well our societiesí most respected medical, legal and psychological professionals have stated that relationships between gay men, lesbians and their partners and children are just as healthy and valid as those between opposite sex couples which was thoroughly documented in the Andersen case. What would have happened if you had acknowledged that gay men and lesbians deserve marriage equality?
MADSEN: Well for one thing, that certifiable sociopath with a 28% approval rating, George W. Bush, would have gone on national television and denounced me as an "activist judge," now I may look like a nice person in my official portrait, but Iíd take a tire iron to the legs of those so-called civil rights demanding homos before Iíd allow Bush or some Fox News hack to do that. And then, the religious nuts would have gone mad with wailing and gnashing their teeth and written letters letting me know that God told them Iím going to fry in Hell. I guess He canít tell me directly, so itís like when youíre mad at your sister and you tell your mom to tell her to pass the pepper, you know?
Anyway, most people are ignorant of history or anything that happened longer than like three days ago, so they just canít appreciate the irony that this situation is almost word for word exactly like the anti-inter-racial marriage hysteria of the 20th century. In fact, I must have been fifteen when the US Supreme Court overturned the statesí bans on inter-racial marriage and you can bet their ruling that marriage is a fundamental right had absolutely no impact on me whatsoever, which is why our society must continue to repeat its mistakes over and over and over again.
OA: And then what would have happened?
MADSEN: Civilization itself would have collapsed, just like itís collapsed in all of the other places that allow same sex marriage like Belgium, Canada, Massachusetts, the Netherlands, Spain and South Africa, or where they have civil unions or domestic partnerships such as Andorra, California, Connecticut, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the District of Columbia, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greenland, Hawaii, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Luxembourg, Maine, Mexico City, the Mexican State of Coahuila, New Jersey, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Vermont and now Washington.
Itís just like when society was destroyed forty years ago after the Loving v. Virginia ruling allowed Negroes and whites to marry, because social collapse is what happens when two people who love each other and want to spend their lives together are legally able to marry.
OA: Wow, you must have struggled with denying people equality when so many other states and countries have tried to remedy this injustice.
MADSEN: (Laughs) Not really, you see the hardest part of my job is pretending to care. You wouldnít believe how many boring sob stories Iíve had to listen to in my nearly two decades on the bench, and those little muscles that help me sigh and roll my eyes are almost worn out, so telling gay men, lesbians and their children that theyíre inferior really means nothing to me.
Fortunately, none of my friends, family or co-workers are gay or even know any homosexuals, which 100% guarantees that Iíll never have to answer any awkward, righteously indignant questions about my judgment from people for whom this couldnít be a more personal or deeply offensive betrayal. Much like former US Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell, Iíve never known any homosexuals so thereís just no reason why I should give a damn what happens to them.
OA: Justice Fairhurst said in her dissent that people will feel shame and regret because of your ruling.
MADSEN: My ruling in Andersen vs. King County only seems like a total insult to the dignity and intelligence of my fellow citizens when taken out of context or when quoted verbatim. Besides, the first thing you learn on the Supreme Court is that concepts like "equal protection" and "privileges and immunities" are just fancy, abstract legal catch phrases from yesteryear that simply have no logical application in real life.
Ultimately, itís the responsibility of our statesí most sadistic, vicious citizens to determine if the minorities that they hate deserve equal rights. For example, if 51% of Washington State residents voted to legalize segregation or slavery, well, who am I to judge?
OA: Your bio states that you were only the third woman elected to the state Supreme Court; isnít it possible that the similar courage, hard work and sacrifices of others helped make that possible, especially since you grew up in an era of rampant sexism and cruel job discrimination?
MADSEN: Youíve heard of the "glass ceiling," right? Well allow me to introduce you to the "glass door," meaning that those of us who broke through the stereotypes, bigotry and sexism that my generation faced will slam the door permanently shut in the faces of the next generation if they dare try to make life better for themselves or future generations.
OA: I guess thatís all we need to know. Thank you for your time, Justice Madsen.
MADSEN: Thank you and your readers. God bless this pseudo-theocratic, backward kakistocracy we lovingly call America, and donít forget to vote ónot that itíll make one scintilla of difference in your lives.