“What a swell party this is.”
Don’t worry. Cole Porter would approve. Tip o’ the hat to Wes for the headline inspiration.
Another magnificent day for human rights in America – June 26, 2015 – has ended, though its ramifications will echo into the future.
My thoughts, however, seem to be drifting into the past. Specifically, 2004. That’s when residents of my home state, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, when asked for a show of hands, declared marriage to be between a man and woman. And if the bumper stickers promoting that constitutional amendment were any indication, they also declared that a family was only a family if a man and a woman produced children. Because, God forbid, a man and a woman have sex for the pleasure of it. That’s just insane. For crying out loud, people, the clitoris is a bundle of nerve endings and it serves one biological purpose, usually to make sure that the word “God” is somehow involved in the sexual act. Repeatedly if you know what you’re doing. I don’t know what atheists cry out during climax, though I’m willing to seek grant funding for that study.
In 2004 the residents of the Commonwealth of Kentucky were asked by the state legislature to define marriage (or rather, ill-define marriage). Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling today, the outcome of that election is void (as it should be). Still, I feel the need to rebuke the legislature that put such an important legal decision in the hands of Kentucky’s residents, as well as the statehouses of other states who left it up to the citizens to decide such an issue.
This goes out to Democrats and Republicans: Don’t you dare, DON’T YOU DARE ask the residents of this state for a show of hands to create a subclass of American citizen ever again. EVER AGAIN!
Just because people oppose something doesn’t make it proper. Interracial marriage used to be illegal. Separate, but equal was once the norm. The injustice of all injustices – slavery – used to be “our peculiar institution.”
Creating a lottery? Ask us for a show of hands. Legalizing casino gaming? Ask us for a show of hands. Want to sell pot? Ask us for a show of hands, man. None of those issues involves relegating a segment of the population to second-class status.
There have been many people saying the Supreme Court has trampled on states’ rights. If they’re talking about a state’s right to codify discrimination into law, then I would concede the low ground. If creating a second class of citizenry was a state right and put to a vote of citizens, then the voting bloc of the pre-Civil War south – “the land of the boll weevil where the laws are medieval” – probably would have made slavery legal in the southern states.
Civil rights are not a state issue, and they certainly aren’t up for a show of hands. In 2004 Kentucky’s General Assembly (and other states’ legislatures) failed to realize this.
Apart from being a grossly inappropriate way to address a major social issue, it was a depressing snapshot inside the minds of Kentuckians. A majority of my fellow Bluegrass State residents said that it was OK to deny a segment of the population the right to marriage simply because they didn’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle (whatever that is). They obfuscated their opinions by saying that they were voting to define marriage as one man and one woman, but anyone with half a brain could read between the lines. It made me think – and fear – that, if put to a vote, a majority of the residents of Kentucky would approve converting our form of government to a theocracy. Conveniently, there are a few contemporary examples of theocracy we could call upon as models. In fact, we have several practitioners of theocracy residing at Camp Hummus Enema and Waterpark down in Cuba. We could easily fly them up here to consult with us on setting up a working theocracy.
It’s not a great idea, but it has the benefit of being batshit crazy.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have a warlock in my family tree. In an American theocracy, do I have a choice between being burned at the stake or stoned? Drawn and quartered? Hung? Forced to listen to Rush Limbaugh’s screeds until my ears bleed?
I also never bought the idea that same-sex marriage would damage the so-called sanctity of marriage. I’m a divorced man. My marital split did more damage to the sanctity of marriage than all the collected same-sex marriages ever will. And there are many reasons I’m no longer married (and I realize I’m going to burn in hellfire for all eternity for it, but I’m here now and I’m going to do some good), but nowhere on that list is “becuz teh gayz can gets married.” I would challenge anyone to present evidence, grounded in reputable biological or social scientific fact, that gay marriage contributed to the dissolution of my marriage.
To end on a less controversial note, I would be remiss if I did not point out that, on social media platforms today, messages of love and acceptance and respect far outweighed (and outclassed) posts of disappointment and, to a lesser extent, butthurt by people who, quite frankly, are unaffected at all by the Court’s decision. I am happy for so many people whom I am fortunate to call “friends.” I wish I could have seen every one of your faces today when the news broke. I know several of you have waited decades for this day. I can’t begin to imagine what that was like, but I know that if I get married again, I will not take it for granted. Thank you for your example of dignity and grace.
In the meantime, celebrate. You’ve waited long enough.
“It is so ordered.”