- Posted March 29, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Same-sex marriage hearings: Your thoughts
Watched the Supreme Court Oral Arguments closely this week on the probable overturn of Prop 8 and DOMA.
I have been waiting for the Gay Rights issue to be brought to The Supreme Court for a long time.
It seems historically, The States have proven, when it comes to disenfranchising specific segments of the populus and attempting to legislate discrimination...they will. Think Women...Blacks...Asians (California during WWII)...Jewish. In each case it has been The Supreme Court that has had to step in repeatedly to assure that the Constitutional Rights of the minority are protected from the majority.
Below are bits and pieces from this week's oral arguments, I found particularly revealing:
That 6 of the 9 judges tended to agree that banning gay marriage was creating a separate "class" and that in itself was unconstitutional.
That the premise that marriage (the main argument of the State) was for procreation purposes and the children...and then self-refuted by admitting that couples childless by choice, infertile couples, and post-menopausal couple were all allowed to marry.
That DOMA was not developed to create a Universal Marriage Standard but...and this
(verbatim from the House Report when DOMA was created)
“Congress decided to reflect and honor of collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality,”
Because you can voice moral disapproval all you want...but it is unconstitutional to create a separate class of people and laws because of your moral disapproval.
This best reflects my feeling on the subject:
Don't like your rights taken away?
Don't take away anybody elses.
Terrifyingly, and maybe the sign of the impending apocalypse- Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and several members of the GOP have vocalized seeing the writing on the wall...that DOMA and Prop 8 will be overturned.
My take on it?
This could be a Watershed Moment for Gay Rights (as well as the Supreme Court) This could be our Woman's Vote...or Civil Rights Act...encompassing 50 States and nullifying discrimination written into our State Constitutions. A moment for the history books.
But don't bet the farm on it, just yet.
It took from 1890 (first allowed in Wyoming) -1920 (...when it became nationwide) before Women in the United States won the RIGHT to vote.
A cozy 30 years.
The Civil Rights time-line has an even more shameful delay...with starts and stops. Even after slavery ended, when a black person was considered (legally) only 25% of a human being. From 1948 when Truman signed executive order 9981...to 1954 when separate but equal was declared unconstitutional.
(I actually started to use the term abolished...but in the Southern States as late as the mid-sixties the signs and facilities remained...I saw them...and if you think the attitude has totally been abolished...even here in 2013...well...you don't get out much.)
In 1955 Rosa Park was making history by not moving to the back of the bus.
In 1962 President Kennedy had to mobilize 5,000 troops because of the riots over ONE black student trying to legally attend the University of Mississippi.
In 1964 black people were STILL being murdered over registering to VOTE.
Until 1967 interracial marriage was STILL BANNED. Interesting, using many of the same arguments we hear against SSM.
And in 2008 the Civil Right Act of 2008 was passed in order to assure that Federal Funds were not used for discriminatory purposed.
So excuse me if I am skeptical of the States "doing the right thing...simply because it it the right thing to do" or not legislating discrimination because it is "unconstitutional" because, frankly, the States have a pretty poor track record.
These things don't happen overnight. They don't even happen over a decade. Amazing progress has been made since 2000...but it is probably unrealistic to think that this Supreme Court is going to change the world by June.
What I foresee- is both the overturn of California's Proposition 8 (and a case that will set precedence for future battles) and most certainly the overturn of DOMA...both will be deemed unconstitutional.
And their overturn will be stepping stones to future Gay Rights.
But hopefully the Supreme Count will take a minute and realize how woefully dismal leaving these type of decisions up to the individual states has always been.
A Final Thought: If a Gay Man or Woman can vote...work here...live here...pay taxes...serve in the military...fight...kill...and DIE for this Country...it seems that they should also be able to MARRY the person they LOVE.