Friday, February 3, 2012

Free Speech, Civil Rights and Transparency

It Seems Obvious to Me...
The day following the arrest of filmmaker Josh Fox for attempting to videotape a "public hearing" on the environmentally toxic practice of  hydraulic fracturing (fracking), combined with the arrest and detention of at least six credentialed journalists at the Occupy Oakland protest on January 28th, It is evident that our first amendment right to free speech is a relic of days gone by.

Another nail in its coffin was provided yesterday, February 2nd, when the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned a previous ruling to release the tapes of the Proposition 8 hearings of 2010, presided over by Justice Vaughn Walker.

It was unprecedented that the videos were held back from public view in the first place and the obscenity is only compounded by this decision. The whole affair begs the obvious question as to why the constitutional right to equal protection is being withheld from LGBTs in the first place. The long stalemate since the hearing a year and a half ago illustrates the reticence of the powers that be to grant full rights of citizenship to all of its citizens.

Although Proposition 8 a just a statewide, California issue, providing full and equal rights for all is a federal issue that must be addressed nationally. Instead we must wait for the lens of history to look back upon this era of open discrimination with shame. Perhaps hindsight is always 20/20, but our present vision is myopic as hell!