Home Columns Situation The Situation January 14, 2010

The Situation January 14, 2010

Family Matters


For all the nonsense we hear spewed about protecting marriage, defending the family, family values, etc., this week we’ll take a look at how valuable those notions really are to those who hide behind the terms to justify their homophobia.

The Situation by Rick Murray






Family Matters


For all the nonsense we hear spewed about protecting marriage, defending the family, family values, etc., this week we’ll take a look at how valuable those notions really are to those who hide behind the terms to justify their homophobia.


Family and Politics

Frank Schubert, the man largely credited with being the mastermind of California’s Proposition 8, the ballot measure that put an end to marriage equality, and Maine’s similarly mean-spirited Question 1, has a lesbian sister. Bay Area Reporter (EBAR.com) reports that Schubert’s sister, Anne Marie, is united in domestic partnership bliss with her partner Julie and two children and that Mr. Schubert loves them and considers them family. In discussing his support of Prop. 8, Mr. Schubert says he and his sister “disagree on the marriage issue” while his sister remains mum on the topic, other than to declare that she does not feel sexual orientation is relevant to whether or not a candidate can be a judge. By now you’re asking why she would say such a thing and here’s where another of many twists come in: Ms. Schubert is a candidate for Sacramento County Superior Court judge. On the surface it appears Ms. Schubert possesses her brother’s ability to separate family and politics, which might have passed as an answer to any questions about her brother’s political activities; instead, Ms. Schubert deftly banishes discussion of the topic of her brother’s involvement in getting Prop. 8 passed by invoking the age-old “I can’t comment on a topic that may come before the court” response.


Her response, much like her brother’s advocating for taking away his sister’s rights, doesn’t pass the sniff test. A quick review of the judicial history of Prop. 8 reveals that it’s been decided and upheld in California’s courts, so where is the conflict of judicial ethics Ms. Schubert thinks may exist? Ms. Schubert cites the California Code of Judicial Ethics, which she says states, “Judges involved in judicial campaigns must also avoid comment concerning a matter pending or impending in any court.” Using the power of Google one can find the referenced document, which does not say what Ms. Schubert says it does. What it does say, however, is, “Judges are entitled to entertain their personal views on political questions.” Perhaps the objection to commenting on the matter comes from her campaign manager: Ms. Schubert is a registered Republican. Mr. Schubert is supporting his sister’s candidacy, much like it appears she’s supported his political activities by remaining silent.


Family and Religion


It was a love story for the ages: Girl meets girl, girl gets lawfully civil unionized to girl, girl finds God and dumps girl. Janet Jenkins and Lisa Miller became a family in Vermont in 2000 and had a child through artificial insemination in 2002. Lisa Miller left the relationship and Vermont with the child in 2003, renounced homosexuality and declared herself an evangelical Christian. In the mean time, a seven-year-old girl has become a judicial ping-pong ball in a custody battle between the two women. The daughter, Isabella, was initially placed in the custody of Miller, her birth mother, with liberal visitation rights granted to Jenkins when the couple’s civil union was dissolved. Miller defied the order, saying to Newsweek, “”It would be like handing my child over to the milkman.” [Ed. Note: We have no idea who the sperm donor was.]


Since then Isabella’s fate has bounced back and forth between courts in Vermont and Virginia, where Miller sought an end-run around the visitation order, hoping Virginia’s Defense of Marriage Act, which grants no legal credibility to their civil union, would vacate Vermont’s custody and visitation order. Miller was unsuccessful in both states and the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the case. The result is no surprise considering Miller told Newsweek, “It has nothing to do with the law” and that “There is a homosexual agenda at work here, and Isabella is a pawn in their game.” Miller was half right: there is an agenda at work and her daughter Isabella is a pawn, but she mischaracterized the agenda. Having declared, “Isabella was saved at age 4, loves God, and knows what’s right and what’s wrong” Miller’s comments prove her defiance of the custody order to be of an evangelical nature. Her continued defiance of the law resulted in Jenkins, who was only seeking visitation, being awarded custody of Isabella to insure visitation requirements would be met. Miller was ordered to surrender custody of Isabella to Jenkins on January 1st. With no legal recourse, Miller has disappeared with Isabella.


A New Taboo

The common thread in these two cases is that there is a new taboo to add to list of topics not to be discussed in polite conversation: sex, religion, politics and family [Fortunately, The Situation doesn’t shy away from any of these.]. This trend seemed to take hold while Dick Cheney was vice president and appears to be here to stay.



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