A Good Day

Last week I walked past the Stonewall Inn while I was wandering around Greenwich Village. It seemed like such a quiet, nondescript location for the real birth of a civil-rights movement.

Today the Supreme Court took a big step in solidifying the gains that movement has made in the last 46 years.

Obergefell et al. v. Hodges

There’s still a lot remaining to do in fighting discrimination and injustice, but this is a day to be celebrated.

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8 Responses to A Good Day

  1. vikingz2000 says:

    For me this *debatable* same sex marriage issue was never about what is or isn’t considered to be discrimination, but rather about what the founders of the United States republic put into place to ensure that constitutional power ultimately resides with the will and consent of the governed majority rather than by kings, dictators, or the majority vote of just nine judges.

    Today is a happy day for those in support of same-sex marriage, which for me was a fight I never had a dog in for any personal reasons, i.e., to each their own. However, today a very scary president has been set in that the three separate governing entities of the United States of America that ensure the balance of power and the majority will of the people has been jeopardized, and is now seriously in peril.

    As Justice Alito said: “Today’s decision usurps the constitutional right of the people to decide whether to keep or alter the traditional understanding of marriage. The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion,the majority [of the US Supreme Court] compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent.”

    And Justice Thomas: “Our Constitution—like the Declaration of Independence before it—was predicated on a simple truth: One’s liberty, not to mention one’s dignity, was something to be shielded from—not provided by—the State. Today’s decision casts that truth aside. In its haste to reach a desired result, the majority [of the US Supreme Court] misapplies a clause focused on “due process” to afford substantive rights, disregards the most plausible understanding of the “liberty” protected by that clause, and distorts the principles on which this Nation was founded. Its decision will have inestimable consequences for our Constitution and our society.”

    • runtu says:

      Since Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court has been a check against overreach from the majority. I have absolutely no problem with the court ruling that laws banning same-sex marriage violate the Constitution. I guess I just see the Court performing its role as a check and balance today, not being the first step on the road to tyranny.

      • vikingz2000 says:

        I can see your point, however let’s assume that in the next election the executive branch becomes headed by staunch anti same-sex president (Republican or Conservative??) along with a Republican/Conservative dominated congress. Could they then reverse this ruling? Would they have the power to do that? They would be two checks against one!

      • runtu says:

        Sure, there’s a remedy for overruling the court. If the will of the majority is against same-sex marriage, then it shouldn’t be hard to pass a Constitutional amendment. That’s how it’s worked in the past.

    • Jewelfox says:

      Runtu’s summed up the legal issues pretty well; it’s kind of the SCOTUS’ job to invalidate unconstitutional laws. If some town passed a law saying Mormon temple marriages are now illegal, I’d expect the courts to toss that out, too.

      So, this is in fact a story of legal tyranny. But the way it played out was “some unpleasant people wrote laws to bully others, and those laws were found to be unconstitutional.”

      As someone who’s been there herself, I don’t feel anyone’s sympathies can really lay with the bullies in the above story unless they have no idea what effect that bullying had. Why is everyone being so precious about bakeries having to sell cakes to everyone equally, when there are people today being thrown out of homes, jobs, and families for not living up to gendered expectations?

      Why are all the suicides happening on one side?

      Why is there such a double standard?

      • vikingz2000 says:

        To say that, “it’s kind of the SCOTUS’ job to invalidate unconstitutional laws.” is a straw man argument for the obvious. Of course the Constitution needs to be upheld by entities like the SCOTUS in order to assure the rights and dignity of all persons—gay and straight. However, I was speaking directly about ‘process’ and “We the People” with regard to changing the historically cultural and fundamental definition of marriage. Hence, I don’t think a majority vote of nine judges has that right. Like I said (as did you) they DO have the right to interpret the laws of the land in so far as determining the constitutionality of law in order to “…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”, but again, it’s not within the province of their jurisdiction in this case to change the historically cultural and fundamental definition of marriage for *all* (We) the people. This is the *only* issue I have with regard to the SCOTUS’s decision (majority vote).

        This issue is so huge to so many people of varying backgrounds, which imply so many ramifications, it should have been placed directly into the hands of *all* ‘the people’ by way of a national plebiscite rather than even that of their elected officials. It would have been the first plebiscite of its kind, but it would be 100% *culturally* definitive. If the results were that the *vast* majority (not just 51%, but rather at least a 2/3 majority) were in favor of changing the definition of marriage to include LGBT couples (heck, why not even put polygyny and polyandry on the ballot as well!) then that would be determinative of a *cultural*, paradigmatic shift representative of the United States. If this where to happen, neither I, nor anyone else would have an argument. Hence, what is the ‘vast majority’s’ stance with regard to this matter in the United States? This is the sixty-four thousand dollar question, the answer to which is the only justification to amend the multi-faceted cultural fabric of a nation’s definition of marriage. And if the vote was a ‘nay’ for change, then direction would need to be turned towards assuring everyone’s rights under the law by way of something like ‘domestic partnerships’, or similar.

      • runtu says:

        But that’s not how our Constitutional system works. We don’t decide big issues by plebiscite. We pass laws, and the Supreme Court rules on the Constitutionality of those laws. That’s what happened here, and it’s how it’s supposed to work.

  2. Ahab says:

    I was overjoyed and relieved yesterday. The struggle for LGBTQ equality will still continue, but this was a major victory.

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