La La How The Life Goes On

Archive for June 2015


Posted on: June 27, 2015

[Friends, you will notice I’m blogging less lately. I’m working on some pieces for publication, and that means they cannot be posted here first. So I’m saving some of my musings for those works instead of placing them here.]

THAT SAID, this day, June 26, 2015 must be marked as historic, joyful and overdue.

Our fellow Americans who happen to be gay can now marry in all 50 states. Their marriage in one state must be legal in other states. They can no longer be denied the basic right that the rest of us share, the right to equal treatment under the law.

I cried when I heard the news. I immediately thought of family members and dear friends who are both gay and married, but who had to jump through hoops to make it happen. Who, depending upon the state they travel through, are not married. Until they travel into another state in which they are. Who are told by this patchwork of prejudice that they are less-than, second class and unwelcome. Depending upon the state they are in, if something happens to one of them they might be barred from seeing one another in the hospital or making medical decisions for one another. The plaintiff in this case, Jim Obergefell, encountered just that situation. He and his partner John Arthur, who was dying from ALS, lived in Ohio. In order to get married, they flew in a medical transport plane to Maryland. John was so sick that the marriage occurred on the tarmac in Baltimore. They never left the plane. When they returned to Ohio, Jim was informed that his husband’s death certificate would read that he was single, unmarried, and that Jim would have no legal rights regarding his passing.

Let that sink in. Someone you have loved for years and to whom you are legally married is considered by your state to be single. Unmarried. Not connected to you. Simply because you are gay. It is a moral wrong. It is discriminatory. It is unconscionable on every level.

As MLK said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Today, family, we saw justice. Our gay loved ones saw justice. Our kids, who will grow up never remembering a time when their gay friends and family could not marry, saw justice. The children of gay couples who, before today, could not legally be adopted by both parents of the same sex, saw justice. The members of our military who put themselves in harm’s way to protect our Constitutional freedoms but who have heretofore been unable to marry on military bases, saw justice. Our country, our republic, our nation saw justice.

I explained to Bambina (who is now 11, y’all. Where did all that time go?) why Mama was a bit farklempt at her computer this morning. I told her that even though her Uncle G and Uncle G (one of whom is her Godfather, both of whom are loved fiercely) are married to each other, not every state agreed. Even though her cousin E and his husband A are married to each other, not every state agreed. So the Supreme Court made it law that every state had to agree that gay people’s marriages are the same as straight people’s marriages. With the wisdom and deep sense of fairness that kids possess before we work it out of them with notions of reality and excuses masquerading as reasons, my daughter replied with a mixture of disbelief and disgust: “WE NEED A LAW FOR THIS? OF COURSE MARRIED GAY PEOPLE ARE REALLY MARRIED.”


Sadly my love, we do. We need a law for this. But happily, as Justice Kennedy stated, “It is so ordered.”

Of course this decision has sent the Rightosphere into absolute derangement. The combined blood pressure across Fox News and talk radio is in the Impending Stroke zone. And I say GOOD. Let’s call out bigotry for what it is. Let’s not let people wrap themselves in religion to defend the mistreatment of fellow Americans based on what Justice Kennedy was careful to describe as an “immutable nature.” Something that cannot be chosen or changed.

Justice Kennedy’s opinion is a truly beautiful work of prose, and as much as Righties want to disbelieve it, a rather conservative take on this topic:

“Marriage is sacred to those who live by their religions and offers unique fulfillment to those who find meaning in the secular realm…Its dynamic allows two people to find a life that could not be found alone, for a marriage becomes greater than just the two persons. Rising from the most basic human needs, marriage is essential to our most profound hopes and aspirations.”

His additional point in the decision is that rather than disrespecting and devaluing marriage by the act of marrying a person of the same sex, those individuals are expressing their profound respect for the institution by their desire to become part of it. If you read nothing else of the decision, however, do read his closing paragraph:

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.

It is so ordered.

Compare and contrast with Justice Scalia’s dissent which is, to put it mildly, HILARIOUSLY UNHINGED. Unprofessional and borderline unbecoming of an officer of the court. But do read it to witness the ramblings of an odious, bitter, angry old man who cannot for the life of him comprehend what is going on with kids today. Hell in a handbasket! He seems genuinely flummoxed by all of it. How can anyone think gays are okay? How can anyone think them getting married is okay? How can we live in a world where it will become socially unacceptable to disapprove of gay marriage and all that…..gayness?! Sodom and Gomorrah is upon us! Seriously. He’s off the rails. His most laughable concern is that the Court is not diverse enough to make this kind of judgement for the nation as a whole. Who are these 5 out of 9 people to sit in judgment?! A concern that would be more credible if he had not been totally fine deciding Citizens United and…oh I don’t know…a PRESIDENTIAL FUCKING ELECTION. Those decisions were clearly the solid work of 9 rockstar judges. This one? A Trojan Horse operation to destroy ‘Murica and all the nice religious people in it. He even uses his dissent as a dis on Kennedy. I smell a Springer show in their future. I wonder if Scalia realizes that he and Kennedy sound like an old, bickering (gay) married couple?

“The opinion is couched in a style that is as pretentious as its content is egotistic,” he writes. “If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: ‘The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,’ I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.”

“And to allow the policy question of same-sex marriage to be considered and resolved by a select, patrician, highly unrepresentative panel of nine is to violate a principle even more fundamental than no taxation without representation: no social transformation without representation,” he writes. “But what really astounds is the hubris reflected in today’s judicial Putsch.”

The hashtag on Twitter for today’s ruling is #LoveWins. And it’s true. Those who oppose “gay marriage” (now known across this great land simply as “marriage”), can continue their lives being not gay and not “gay married.” Religions who do not agree can continue their ministries being not gay and not gay married. I wish them and their heterosexual unions well. They are on the wrong side of history whether they care to confront it or not. But no matter.

It just means more cake for the rest of us. Because Love Always Wins.

***A postscript to smugly remind everyone that this great Commonwealth was the first state in the nation, in 2004, to legalize and recognize same-sex marriage. Because we are #TrailblazingMassholes***






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