In 2009 an Ane hanging around the Warp Drive Project was shot by a disaffected loser one Edward Robert Lee that believed his home town preacher that Aliens where from and of the Devil. He was quickly captured by the WDP's security service. Alive as Jennifer Ashby used a phaser, not the canon slung over her shoulder.
Arrested and booked Lee's trial for attempted murder was nearly derailed by the fact that California law defined murder as killing a person, and a person is described in the statutes as a Human or corporation. A motion to dismiss was put on the table.
A counter motion that the law was discriminatory was placed on the table. There were clearly demonstrated persons that were not Human or artificial legal constructs like corporations. The United States held treaties that stated as much. This issue had to be tried first.
Forces gathered steam and the trial was both a serious legal proceeding and a total media circus. Pro forces called on Aliens from as far away as Vulcan and Greyhawke. Antis beat the Humans first drum. Pro forces siting the treaties got the venue moved to the Federal courts. This was done so the matter would not have to be dragged through every state.
Artemus Pelonor. A good Christian lawyer took the point as main counsel for the anti side. He found himself rubbing shoulders with the kind of lawyer that defends the bastards that burn churches.
The Jurist presiding was Audrey B. Collins United States District Court for the Central District of California. She allowed that the trial would be televised live.
Raciest bigots morphed overnight into Human bigots. Furries came out of the woodwork and "xenophile" became a term in the language. For close to two months Los Angles was held hostage as a who's who of Who's Who descended on the city to see and be seen with the latest craze. Neither love or money could buy a room. Even private residences were renting their back yards to minor celebrities not celebrated enough to get a bed in the Motel 6.
Minor scuffles broke out in LA and Washington DC primarily. It never approached the level of riot. Local police and national guard had everything locked down, Fleas needed permission to jump dogs. Experienced Anglos took extended vacations.
All told three space craft arrived. The Vulcans in a warp drive vessel the Greyhawkens in the HMS Protector, a magically driven craft, and Therilan the Ane History Scout in a 200 meter 4th generation warp scout. The native Ane were present in numbers.
Local non-Humans came out of the woodwork as well. Betty Ashby was seen in public for the first time. The Batboy declined to be part of the circus, and quietly made his exit by leaving with the Greyhawkens. Cindy Crawford made appearances as a talking cheetah, she did not appear in her Human form. Likewise David Watching Eagle made talking eagle appearances. Both did say they were shape shifters, but declined to be identified in the press.
The media end was vicious. The Rev. William Randal Curtis DD who was responsible for the whole mess with his Book The Inversion of Heaven became the Pro side punching bag. He aided and abetted their making a total idiot and fool of him by being a total idiot and fool. Lots of Aliens being people footage completed the positive side of the media blitz. The Ashbys hosted such insidious activities as a family style picnic; shopping at the mall, and dare I say it; watching football. Trips to the Long Beach mall were organized. The mall was faced with the prospect of women that didn't believe in clothes and feet that defied shoes. They folded on the shoes to get the boobies covered.
The Antis pounded the unnatural angle, dogs marrying cats, women being ravished, and the death of our society. They dug out every bug eyed monster movie in the inventory to prove that aliens would destroy Earth. They had no positive angle.
In the end after passionate closing statements the Federal Judge declared that non Humans were people too. Shooting one was battery and killing one was murder.
During the trial the Chinese tried to buy Ane from Kenya. As a result the native Ane proposed the Sentient Rights Agreement. A wordier version of the Covenant that spelled out the basic rights of all sentient creatures. They stated that being a signatory and meaning it was the minimum necessary for them to work in a given country.
Earth is now a planet with more than one native sentient species:
- Elephants have been recognized as people, and due to the aid of Ane can communicate. Centuries of slavery and misunderstanding in India and south Asia are being dealt with. Elephants are angry, and are not taking it anymore.
- Cetaceans for the most part are recognized as sentient. Whaling was stopped by the expedient of sinking the whaling ships at the pier. With public pressure in Japan wanting Ane in the country they were not replaced or repaired.
- The great apes are an area of concern. While sentience can be there it isn't a black and white issue. Liberals are in favor of erring on the side of caution. Developers are not.