aNewDomain — So here we are in America, 2015. My editor asks last night why nobody on our staff is really writing about the SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision. Turns out a couple people were, but never mind that now. Me, I was laying in the weeds, waiting until the pertinents had all dropped. To write from a position of knowledge.
Today my social feed is all rainbow flags and hate. Flags from folks who want to celebrate equal rights for everyone and hate from folks who didn’t want this to happen and who aren’t able to see that they hate.
I also see Confederate flags all over the place, racist remarks about Al Sharpton at the White House, a joke about the welfare office in England being surprised and unprepared because someone came in speaking English.
And here’s some drivel about the Constitution being based on Biblical law. And all kinds of other crazy-talk from politicians playing to their bases, shared around by liberals as proof that those guys are whack and by conservatives as proof we should vote for them.
One guy says he’s going to present as black and gay now because straight white guys got no protections.
Why Is The Same Sex Marriage Decision A Big Deal?
Why is the same sex marriage Supreme Court ruling so divisive? Why is homosexual marriage — but not climate change or race relations in America — the issue of the day?
I stand on the side of the most rights for the most people. I think the Supreme Court made the right decision, and the 5:4 nature of that decision makes me a little ill. The SCOTUS is supposed to be non-partisan but they rule along party lines every time, except when there’s no clear party divide in an issue or when they can’t weasel a way to do us like that.
But I think, too, that if Kennedy hadn’t swung to this side, one of the Conservative judges would have had to step up. After all, that’s what happened in 2012 in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. It was 4:4, and Roberts cast the swing vote. He did what damage he could in his majority opinion, though, turning the Affordable Care Act into tax-and-spend liberalism.
The justices could not have ruled against this, because there was no real reason to do so. Nobody is harmed by same-sex marriage and we all benefit from it, at least indirectly.
The only sane arguments against it are religious ones, and those only make sense if we stipulate that we’re a theocracy – which we aren’t, not at all. Becoming a theocracy would trample too many religious freedoms.
And why does it matter?
Why does this new ruling matter so much? It matters so much because it is so late. Congratulations to everyone who earned equal rights yesterday and I’m happy for you. The ruling brings us into the 21st century, finally, and 15 years late.
America is supposed to lead the world, isn’t she?
Denmark had civil unions (registered partnerships) in 1989. Several European nations followed suit through the 1990s. The Czech Republic, not exactly a bastion of liberalism, got with the program in 2006. Canada had its first same-sex couple in 2001, a common law marriage.
And US states began to experiment with marriage equality in the early 2000s, the precursor to this being explicit bans against it in the 1990s and a few state laws explicitly allowing discrimination against people based on sexual orientation.
Canada fully allowed same sex marriage as early as 2005.
Today, much of Europe is on board with this. We’re not the first country, by a long shot, to end marriage discrimination. And we have fought tooth and nail for traditional marriage. Indeed, county clerks all over the country are still turning away same-sex couples for marriage licenses.
The next thing to happen will be a flurry of state attorney’s general announcing they will honor the ruling (as if they have any choice) and a couple saying they won’t because Federal law doesn’t apply here.
And the fight goes on.
But, again, there was really never any good reason to block same-sex marriage. The hold-up has been the time it takes a case to make it all the way to SCOTUS that impacts the whole nation. Prop 8 was not far-reaching enough. When it was struck down, it did not implicate marriage as a right for everyone. Now we’ve finally had that case, and we’ve got our ruling.
So thanks, Ray, for doing what you agreed to do: ruling in favor of the most rights for the most people.
While we’re all busy continuing to squabble over this for the next few weeks, though, you might want to look at your henhouse. A fox is in there. He’s been in there a long time, stealing our democracy (http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746). I mean, hens. We have to fight for every common-sense civil right every day. When we forget, the fox uses his news organizations to remind us to be outraged or sends out his cops so we have reason to be. Meanwhile, our government almost never makes a decision in our favor or writes a law to protect us.
This week, while we grieved the racist, terrorist slaying of some of our black leaders, decried the racist flag of the Confederacy, and cheered on marriage rights for our brothers and sisters, our government wrote laws keeping information off food labels and a trade agreement likely to cost American jobs, sending them to places with shittier wages.
While we fight for every right, every dollar, rich people have stolen our government and are using it to make more profit.
Thank you for doing your job.
So, once again, thanks, SCOTUS. Thank you for doing your job. Thanks, Bree Newsome, who cut the padlock on that Confederate Flag Nikki Haley couldn’t order down.
And thanks, Alabama, for taking down the four Confederate flags at your own capitol building. Welcome to 1865. Thanks, everyone, for doing what you agreed to do. Now can we get back to work?
The fox is in the henhouse.
For aNewDomain, I’m Jason Dias.
Image one: Bandiere dell’Arcigay a Grosseto (2004). All Rights Reserved.
Image two (and cover image: Imgurer.com, All Rights Reserved.