Tuesday, March 26, 2013

An historic day...

Today the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments about Proposition 8 in California, which struck down marriage equality. When the Ninth Circuit Court and a district court in California subsequently overturned the voters' decision to ban same-sex marriage, supporters of the ban brought their case to the Supreme Court. While early analysis of the justices' questions point toward the possibility of a narrow ruling which might set aside Proposition 8 but not provide guidance as to marriage equality in other states, a decision is expected in June.

Tomorrow, the Court will hear arguments to overturn the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which limits the definition of marriage to being between one man and one woman. Briefs supporting the nullification of this law have been filed by countless people, from President Obama to professional athletes like football players Brendan Ayanbadejo and Scott Fujita, and countless entertainers. President Clinton, who signed the bill into law, has also called for it to be overturned. Four Democratic Senators—Senators Mark Warner (VA), Claire McCaskill (MO), Mark Begich (AK), and Jay Rockefeller (WV)—have publicly stated their support for marriage equality, as has Republican Senator Rob Portman (OH), whose son is gay.

As you might imagine, there is a tremendous amount of emotion surrounding these events. I never would have believed the Supreme Court would ever deign to discuss marriage equality, and I certainly would never have believed that I'd see a tweet from President Obama like this:

Seeing the photo of the tweet on Facebook earlier today made me a bit emotional, because as I've said a number of times already, when I was growing up and struggling with how to accept myself, I never would have believed a sitting president of our country would make me feel I was worthy of equality.

I am hopeful that the Supreme Court will ultimately rule with the best interests of the many and not the few, but I have a feeling their decisions will be so narrow that it will continue to be left up to the states to decide individually, and many states already have constitutional amendments in place banning same-sex marriage. I know history will at some point prove that opponents of marriage equality are on the wrong side of the argument, as were those opposed to civil rights, suffrage, and interracial marriage, but waiting for history to prove those wrong does the many of us wishing the same benefits as our fellow citizens small comfort. There is no reason we should bear the same burdens without the same advantages.

I leave you with a few images of the many that have been shared via the internet today. As I've said countless times, I fail to understand why people fear love between two people. Love builds us up, it lifts us up. Fear of that love only serves to tear us down.

1 comment: