Federal Judges, Gay, Gay Marriage, Kids, Quote of the Day

Thanks, Dad, For Memorializing My Embarrassing Childhood Comments In F. Supp. 2d

Judge Michael McShane

Even today I am reminded of the legacy that we have bequeathed today’s generation when my son looks dismissively at the sweater I bought him for Christmas and, with a roll of his eyes, says ‘dad … that is so gay.’

— Judge Michael McShane of the District of Oregon, in his heartfelt opinion striking down Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage.

(Why was the opinion so heartfelt? Keep reading….)

Judge McShane is gay himself, as noted in The Oregoninan:

The personal tone was perhaps in keeping with his own background. One of just nine openly gay judges on the federal bench, McShane was raised in a conservative Catholic family and first came to Oregon with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

As a Multnomah County judge, he was known for his work reaching beyond his normal judicial duties to help defendants turn their lives around. He has a 20-year-old adopted son who had come from an abusive home and is now helping to raise a nephew of his partner.

It’s a bit surprising that Judge McShane’s son, raised by a gay man, would use “gay” in a derogatory sense. But perhaps that’s a sign of the homophobic times, which Judge McShane describes in his opinion:

Generations of Americans, my own included, were raised in a world in which homosexuality was believed to be a moral perversion, a mental disorder, or a mortal sin. I remember that one of the more popular playground games of my childhood was called ‘smear the queer’ and it was played with great zeal and without a moment’s thought to political correctness.

But, as they say, it gets better. Here is how Judge McShane concludes:

Where will this all lead? I know that many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other… and rise.

It’s a powerful and personal opinion. Flip to the next page to read it in full.

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