What’s The Best Way to Achieve Marriage Equality

IMG_0666You cant get away from it, the news everywhere today is all about same sex marriage, what the Supremes will do; tomorrow the news and coverage will be all about DOMA and if its constitutional. If you read my last blog posting you will know I am in complete support of total equality in every way, including marriage. But, an interesting question has been brought up; whats the best way to accomplish equal rights for gays and non-gays alike. People refer back to Roe v Wade, even Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that ruling was over reaching. If the SCOTUS rules that same sex marriage is a constitutional right for everyone will this matter become the topic of endless debate 40 years from now? That obviously isnt an optimal outcome. People like Peggy Noonan from The Wall Street Journal say let things slow down; the momentum is there, Americans are more and more supporting same sex marriage and to let it happen in time. Her premise is that a court ruling would have a worse effect. It could harden opponents positions and make people feel like same sex marriage is being pushed down their throats. Unfortunately this argument carries some weight. Close minded people could see a ruling by the Supremes as infringing on their civil liberties. This is what happens when you are living in a nation that is filled with small minded bigoted people. The kind of people that think the world is flat and evolution is just a theory.

The Constitution was written such that the court system would be the counter weight to a majority rule society. That the SCOTUS branch of government is there to protect minority groups when no one else will. It is completely obvious that same sex marriage and gay rights are a given right of every American. But, when things happen too fast is the backlash counterproductive? In reality, probably. When you live in a country where people hate the president because of his color, and make up myriads of excuses to disagree and disrespect him it shouldnt be a surprise to anyone that these same people would be against gay rights and marriage. That somehow same sex marriage would be a religious catastrophe but getting multiple divorces (Newt) is fine; you know the type the ones who pick and choose what part of the bible they obey and what part they dont. Very interesting to me, who is  non religious, the new Pope emphasizes helping the needy and the poor.

In my mind this is a no brainer; the court should rule that all citizens be treated equally, period. Its a very easy call. But in the long run are gays and same sex marriage supporters better off having a half win at the court; then let the natural progression of things happen as more and more people support same sex marriage is that the better way to go? Over 75% of people under 30 approve of same sex marriage. Even for Evangelicals 60% under 30 years old approve. As George Will said, the opposition is literally dying off. So, whats the answer? How do u best deal with a group of bigoted small minded people. Thats a tough one. As a gay man who is married to another man I am obviously in full support. I love the idea of young kids growing up knowing it doesnt matter if they are gay or non-gay they have the same opportunities and are able to have any kind of future they want. To me that is more important than what I personally go through or want as a right of law.

In a grown up society with intelligent people the answer is simple: treat all citizens as equals under the Constitution. As a divided country filled with people full of hate slower might be the better route. I think the way our Country was set up including the Constitution and Declaration of Independence the Supreme Court of the United States should rule in favor of equality for all, thats what this country was founded on and those are our principles. Its time to set aside the bigoted set and do what’s right for people.

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3 thoughts on “What’s The Best Way to Achieve Marriage Equality

  1. I don’t agree. We’d still have Jim Crow if the government hadn’t come up with the Civil Rights Act. Our legislative branch doesn’t have the cojones of that earlier Congress so it’s up to the SCOTUS now. Rights shouldn’t be up for a majority vote anyway. That’s because they’re “rights” and not “privileges.”

    Roe wasn’t overreaching at all. Women have the right of bodily integrity; just because the laws didn’t recognize that right doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Once again Congress didn’t have the backbone to just pass a law making abortion legal, so the Court had to step in. But either solution would have sufficed, and too bad if some people don’t like it. The important thing is to change what’s legal. Eventually enough people will be used to the way things are and realize that our country wasn’t destroyed by it, and we won’t have to fight anymore.

  2. You make a valid point and you can already see some of the backlash already. Opponents of marriage equality are starting to shift their stance. Some of my religious colleagues who in the past were opponents of marriage equality based on religious arguments or appeals to tradition, now are stating state rights and such.

    But, while you may be right in that a broad court ruling may be difficult, on the same note, it is the job of the courts to deal with such matters. On a federal level, the government and law is suppose to step in when the states are impeding upon the rights of its citizenry. We see that in the Jim Crow laws and in the case of Eisenhower stepping in at Little Rock.

    Its clearly a difficult balance, but fear of backlash shouldn’t stop the march of progress, I believe.

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