Friday, June 26, 2015


This is a Post Script at the beginning of the Post: You know, I am more moved by the support of our allies and friends, average folks here and there, businesses and the media, than I am by SCOTUS. 

Excerpt from the ruling:
"No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed."
Graphic from the internet/The Advocate
We are now legal in all 50 states!

A great big "Thank You" to all those who have been a voice for this victory - all who have fought for LGBT rights for decades, all who have marched, voted, written, filed lawsuits, told their stories, lived courageously!

The SCOTUS decision, I felt, was self-evident. Our STATES can never be fully UNITED if we allow individual states to make their own rules about such a matter as crucial as the legality of a contract between two parties - in this case, the marriage contract.

That is not a "romantic" notion at all, and certainly not a "religious" notion; but when Leon and I traveled by car to New Mexico this past winter, we had legitimate concerns about how we might be treated in some states should we have an accident or illness. The possibility, no, probability, that our relationship of 27 years, which we recently "made legal" last October, might have been disregarded was frightening and disconcerting. But now we can travel within the boarders of OUR OWN COUNTRY and feel a bit more secure. I do say a bit more secure.

But hold on, and stay vigilant.

This victory is tempered by the fact that none of the four most conservative justices could be persuaded by logic and legal arguments. I find that frightening.

First, because the judgment is so divided and second, because I was not at all impressed with the majority's reasoning. I think the majority was searching for something that it couldn't quite articulate. It was full of niceties, but as legal reasoning, I think it fell short.

The idea of the Constitution “was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the reach of majorities and officials and to establish them as legal principles to be applied by the courts.” West Virginia Bd. of Ed. v. Barnette, 319 U. S. 624, 638 (1943). This is why “fundamental rights may not be submitted to a vote; they depend on the outcome of no elections.”

I don't think they effectively addressed the Constitutional issues. And that is what the dissent focused on.

The dissenting opinions on the other hand seemed to be saying that the majority "invented" an argument that was not substantiated. And those dissenting opinions will certainly be used in whatever way possible against us, against LGBT persons, against our rights and against our relationships. There will be a backlash, and I fear that it could be vehement and ugly.

We need all of our allies to stand with us now, to celebrate and to voice their support - and to refute those who have vowed to fight against the SCOTUS ruling and against us.

But for today...CELEBRATE WELL!


Daave B said...

Hi Frank! Great post!
Never thought I would see this day!
We can now join with the rest of north America and many other country's around the world that has recognized that marriage and it meaning has developed and progressed over time, much of it in the last 100 years, with civil laws and benefits from marriage a ever increasing component. To deny said civil benefits and rights from 2 consenting adults, due some folks feeling that it is the exclusive realm of of traditional or religious concepts or beliefs, Blindfolded by their ideologies fail any common sense test when compared with concepts of equal rights under the constitution. I believe they overlook, do not care or unaware that this is needed due to our "nation of laws" and that if there was no SS benefits or taxes or any of the structured regulations that come with that perhaps it would not not as important.
Frank as you pointed out, I also have concern for backlash from the folks who cannot come to terms or understand this judgment, overlooking that this does not change religious sacrament of marriage.
This validates what Vermont did and Massachusetts did over a decade ago was the right thing to do and that the people in the New England region are possibly the most pragmatic people in the USA

Daave aka BDD

Russ Manley said...

You are so right when you say that the validity of the marriage contract - the cornerstone and foundation of society, as the courts have ruled many times in the last hundred-plus years - cannot be left up to the whims of the states. So the five justices who wrote the majority opinion were absolutely and incontrovertibly right to extend the human right and human dignity of marriage to everyone in these United States. I am no legal expert but it seems to me that their decision is solidly based on the constitutional guarantees of Due Process and Equal Protection of the laws beyond all reasonable doubt. They did the right thing, and thank God they did - it was a long time coming.

And yet I agree with you that the four dissents plainly invite an ugly, vehement, perhaps violent response that will feed the flames of bigotry and outright hatred for many years to come. Upon reflection this morning, it seems to me that, wonderful as the victory is, it is the worst victory we could have been given - almost a Pyrrhic victory, for the sharpness of the dissents guarantee the survival and festering growth of resent and hatred against all LGBT people.

So this morning (according to my body clock) I'm not so thrilled with the ruling as yesterday but - it's still a great turning point that will mean much happiness for millions of queer people - happiness and security that our generation could only dream about. So just like the blacks and other groups have done, we will take up our newfound freedom and equality and march on down the road, hoping for the best, and making the most of the grace we have been given, as the President spoke of yesterday in Charleston.

So the ruling is what it is, but let's celebrate fabulously anyway. Snap, snap, snap!


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