Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning the Defense
of Marriage Act came right on the heels of the high Court’s
dismembering of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Ironically, I
support both decisions, their common denominator being basic
fairness to all Americans, regardless of race, creed, national
origin or sexual disposition. What saddens and panics most of us
about the court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act is not the
ruling’s dissolution of the list of states being regulated by
the Act, but the Court’s requiring Congress to provide a more
coherent rationale for choosing which states should be subject
to it. Congress is completely broken and incapable of passing
even bills they all agree on, like the recent Farm Act bill. The
obstructionists in Congress are mostly Republican and provably,
demonstrably racist, in denial of their own racism as they
repeatedly harm the Republic, their own constituents included,
by abusing procedural technicalities in an all-out effort to
prevent President Barack Obama from doing anything at all.
Congress is not in any way interested in actual governing, they
exist only to jam Obama. And they hate Obama not because he is a
Democrat or a liberal but because he is a black man. These are
the people the Supreme Court handed the Voting Rights act over
to. However, protecting our civil rights from a dysfunctional
legislature is not the Court’s mission: it’s not their fault the
country is in such a mess, it’s ours. It is, specifically, each
one of us who energetically and enthusiastically voted in Barack
Obama in 2008, and then laid on the sofa in 2010, allowing
lunatics and reactionaries to be voted into office by a panicked
conservative White America. Black folk can blame the Court all
they want: this is what we get for not showing up. Just as I
warned three years ago, the nation—and, by extent, the
world—is a mess right now because we couldn’t be bothered to
vote in 2010.
Luckily, the racist lunatics have something of their own to be upset about. The Supreme Court likewise dealt a blow to homophobes—mostly the same people high-fiving over the Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act—by overturning the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the Federal government from recognizing lawful same-sex marriages performed in states where such marriages are legal. The ruling surprised me, as I’m so accustomed to politics dominating policy the way it routinely does in Congress, but the Court’s ruling seems reasonable and fair to me, much for the same reasons its Voting Rights Act decision did. I personally do not believe in same-sex marriage, but I do believe in equal rights for all persons to make their own choices in life. Why? Because that is the biblical model set before us. God does not force His way on us, His own creation. He has endowed us each with freedom to choose the path we will follow, and it is not for me to choose for anyone else. I thought DOMA was dangerous mainly because it legalized bigotry, like the old Jim Crow laws of the south. I’m delighted to see it gone. The Court chose to punt on Proposition 8, California’s legalized bigotry law prohibiting same-sex marriage, saying the plaintiffs lacked standing to bring the case, but the DOMA ruling means Prop 8 is fairly dead.
Every time homosexuality is raised as an issue, the first thing TV news does is run footage of men passionately
kissing or women fondling each other, as if all LGBT persons did
was have sex. Such footage is often followed up by images of
gays partying wildly and clips of the most moronic idiots—gay or
straight—anyone could imagine; drunken, half-naked effeminate
men in Viking hats and cod pieces grabbing on each other. That
stuff makes me cringe, which is why the news always includes
that type of footage: to incite anger, to titillate so we’ll
stay tuned and watch those commercials. Typically omitted from
the top of the news are the mixed-orientation families presented
with dignity: living their lives, raising their kids, struggling
with careers and bills and relationships like anyone else. All
but completely missing from TV news’ heinous visual shortcuts in
their 2-minute glimpses into so-called gay ‘lifestyle’ are the
millions of same-gender loving people who must strap on
emotional flak vests and deny the most basic truths about
themselves before starting their cars Sunday mornings to go to
What I see, more often than not, are LGBT persons angry at the church if not God, losing their faith in church if not God, and turning away from church if not God, not because of any specific failure on God’s part but because of real or perceived hatred coming from the church. I have no idea what it means to live life in the closet. I’m not sure I could. My LGBT friends have tried explaining how painful a choice that is, to all but live a lie in exchange for community and acceptance, but this is not something that can be explained (or even understood) intellectually.
The recent focus on the upcoming challenge to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act in the U.S. Supreme Court has a raft of politicians and preachers (most notably last week’s CPAC Republican Homophobe Convention, former President Bill Clinton disavowing DOMA, which he signed into law, and GOP heavyweight Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) sounding off on the right of same-sex couples to marry. This, to me, is a heinous and appalling debate harking back to the long and tragic years of foot-dragging by whites in this country to simply grant all people—regardless of race or gender—the exact same rights as anyone else. Who are we to debate whether or not to grant a specific right or set of rights to a specific class of people? A right is, by definition, something we are, by virtue of our humanity, deserving of. You don’t vote to grant rights to a minority class. They are Americans, human beings, ten fingers and ten toes. There must be absolutely no question or debate about whether or not any one group of people should be “granted” the same freedoms and protection as any other.
The fact this nation actually needed to amend its own Constitution to actually say that—that everybody has the same rights—speaks directly to the racist and sexist nature of the dominant class of people who wiped out this nation’s indigenous race and dragged our ancestors here in chains. These thoughtful, reasonable, God-fearing people have a terrible evil so deeply embedded in their cultural DNA that they actually had to write that down—all people are people, all people are entitled to the same rights—a wholly ridiculous idea to commit to paper as any child could tell you that.
The title of the Defense of Marriage Act is wholly ridiculous as this heinous law portends to protect the institution of marriage. First of all, protecting a religious sacrament is not the purview of a government committed to a separation of church and state. Second, there is absolutely no evidence, no social study, no science anywhere that suggests same-sex marriage in any way threatens traditional marriage. The very idea is absurd. Why on earth would two gay guys getting married affect my marriage? Am I suddenly somehow “less married” because Sister Ann and Sister Jane got hitched?