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Gay People, The Supreme Court, and Equal Civil Rights

Updated on July 1, 2015

Disclaimer

In the following paragraphs, I describe the physical aspects of gay people. I don't intend it to be in any sense of the word derogatory. It is meant to point out the difference between gay and straight people and to make a point that they are born with a predisposition to these difference. It is not a choice on their part.

Equality for All
Equality for All | Source

Meet Kate

In all of my years on this planet, I have met many gay people. I have a niece Kate, who as a little girl cried whenever her mother made her dress up in girly clothes. She was always more comfortable in cowboy clothes and guns with a holster than dolls and frilly things. As a young lady she married a very nice man and their marriage was annulled shortly thereafter. A very short time later, she came out as a lesbian and introduce us to her partner. She is currently a lineman for Southern California Edison and is very happy. I have to say she has many masculine features and behaviors.

Meet Trish

When I worked at Sony, I worked with a lady named Trish. We had many conversations with her about her and her lesbian partner. She told me that as soon as she could talk, she told her mother to take her to the hospital and make her a man. She also has many masculine features and behaviors.

Neighbors

I had two neighbors who were also gay, one was a gym teacher and the other was a chiropractor. One was built like a truck driver walked like one and the other was more feminine. They got along very well and were very helpful and friendly with others in the neighborhood.

Meet my Son

I have a 45 year old son who came out two years ago. He always seemed uncomfortable around females who were attracted to him. He is drop dead handsome and flies 747s all over the world. I think that might have something to do with the attraction aspect. He lived in Alaska as a bush pilot for many years and we knew that he was living with women, but there never seemed to be a real connection to the opposite sex. It was more a matter of convenience for sharing a place to live. When he came out, he told us that he was tired of hiding and living a life that was not really his and he wanted to share his life with someone.

After he came out, he introduced us to his partner. They are now living in Chicago and are very happy. We are happy as well, because he is happy. Again, his partner is slight of build and has feminine behaviors.

You Can't Pray Away the Gay and Therapy Won't Work

So why am I telling you all of this? The point I'm trying to make is, I don't believe gay people have a choice as to being gay or straight. They are born with a certain predisposition that not only affects them mentally, but in some cases physically. I don't know if it is in their DNA, but they are wired differently than straight people are. You can't pray away the gay or send them to therapy to change them. It just simply isn't going to work.

Nature never does anything in a straight line. If it did, we would all look alike and every species in nature would also look alike. The only constant in the universe is change. Even our culture is changing today. In the 1950s, I was in the Air Force and spent part of my career in Biloxi Mississippi and Valdosta Georgia. It was a time of deep segregation and prejudice. I remember the signs that separated blacks from whites for toilets, drinking fountains, and public transportation. Today, for the most part, we have evolved into a society that accepts other races and cultures. I believe there are still some areas of residual prejudice though.

Hollywood and the Media

I believe that Hollywood and the media have played a big part in the acceptance of not only racial differences, but also sexual difference. Movies are made today that show different races sexual persuasions in intimate relationships. T.V. shows like Modern Family, Glee, and others show gay people in various situations that have helped to bring acceptance and understanding of gays and their issues.

The Supreme Court in Session with Ted Olsen Presenting his argument
The Supreme Court in Session with Ted Olsen Presenting his argument | Source

The Supreme Court and DOMA

When I first wrote this article, the Supreme Court was deliberating the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). On June 26, 2015, they passed the Marriage Equality Act which supersedes DOMA. The following paragraph is just for reference now that the Marriage Equality Act has been passed.


The Supreme Court is currently deliberating about whether they should rule the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional. Whatever their ruling is, the real issue is not about the sanctity of marriage between only heterosexual couples and their children. The real issue is one of equal civil rights at the federal level.

Case Study

My wife worked for an estate attorney who did trusts. She told me the story of a couple who had been together for many years. One partner was in the hospital for a terminal condition. The hospital would not allow the partner to visit the other partner in the ICU because she was not next of kin. They said she had no legal right. When she passed away, she was not able to inherit any of her partner's property and assets. It all went to the next of kin, even though there was a trust established. She could have inherited it however, if she could come up with the funds to pay the estate tax, which was several thousands dollars. If they were a legally married couple, it would have been zero. As a result, she was left with nothing.

Now with the passing of the Marriage Equality Act, gay people who get legally married will not ever have to face this situation again. However, there are those with certain religious convictions who refuse to grant licenses to gays. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds.

Legal Library
Legal Library | Source

Legal Civil Rights

It's about legal civil rights of people who live together and should be given the same legal rights as married couples. If they have children, it gives the children their legitimate rights as well. When 50% of marriage ends in divorce, who is to say having same sex parents is better or worse than heterosexual parents. There are 1,138 benefits, rights and protections provided on the basis of marital status in Federal law.

The following link is a summary of several categories of federal laws contingent upon marital status.

http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/an-overview-of-federal-rights-and-protections-granted-to-married-couples

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    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 4 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      I absolutely agree with you, Peoplepower73. This is a matter of human civil rights. The conservatives claim it to be states rights but they did so over slavery and Jim Crow also. Great Hub.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 4 years ago from Placentia California

      HSchneider: Thanks for your comments. I hope this helps people understand that times are changing.

    • jlpark profile image

      Jacqui 4 years ago from New Zealand

      If only more people shared your view on this, PeoplePower, the world would be a much friendlier place. People dislike change, particularly when the rights being infringed upon are not theirs. Try infringing on theirs, and you get them screaming blue murder (much like their yelling when they are not allowed to let their hatred/ignorance dictate the law).

      Thank you for this hub - your son is a lucky man to have a father as understanding and supportive as you.

    • thebiologyofleah profile image

      thebiologyofleah 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Your example of the couple with one partner in terminal care is the point that really needs to be driven home to people as to why we need equality in marriage. It is unjust that the law does not view same-sex partners as a legal couple with the appropriate rights of a married pair.

      Thank you for sharing.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 4 years ago from Placentia California

      jlpark: I agree with you. Change is hard to make. But then again, the only constant in the universe is change. If institutions are not able to meet the needs of the people, then they will not be able to exist in their current form. That includes religious institutions as well as political institutions. It's not only me that my son is lucky to have but also his mother. She has been amazing in this situation. If as if we have another son-in-law. Thanks for your comments and dropping by.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 4 years ago from Placentia California

      thebiologyofleah: You are right. I think that point needs to be driven home. Politicians want us to focus on the sanctity of the union, not the equal rights for all. Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

    • RavenBiker profile image

      RavenBiker 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, PA.

      Yuh, know? I could have said it better myself! Voted up!

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 4 years ago from Placentia California

      RavenBiker: That's a great compliment. Thanks for dropping by.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 4 years ago from Placentia California

      Walt Kienia: I have an idea. Why don't you interview several gay people and ask them when was the first time they felt different?

      As far as your question goes, I think the jury is still out on how the states will handle this issue or what jurisdiction they will have. Again thanks for your comments.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 4 years ago from Placentia California

      This is what I said: In the disclaimer: In the following paragraphs, I describe the physical aspects of gay people. I don't intend it to be in any sense of the word derogatory. It is meant to point out the difference between gay and straight people and to make a point that they are born with a predisposition to these difference. It is not a choice on their part.

      I could have been more generalized, but in the next paragraph I qualified what I meant: "They are born with a certain predisposition that not only affects them mentally, but in some cases physically." The key operative here is "in some cases physically." And that is a truth that is based on my association with gays and observations.What do you want me to base it on, statistics, videos of gay people acting effeminate, or masculine? How many gay people have you ever been associated with?

      Comparing what I said to a "twit/Obama" is comparing apples to oranges. You are interpreting what I said and not actually quoting what I said.

    • Lady Guinevere profile image

      Debra Allen 4 years ago from West By God

      I also can see the differences in their body language and such. Yes it is all about legal issues and the like. Hospitals will not allow a person whom is not family into a room that the patient has a serious condition. They will also not discuss their situation or even talk to a person whom is not related to them. That is one of the reasons they want rights. They have that right but some government officials and religious factions who don't "see" gays as being people with feelings and needs disregard this fact. That is the sad part. People need to be loved and people need a whole lot more compassion than what they have in this world.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 4 years ago from Placentia California

      Lady Guinevere: I agree with everything you said. It's interesting, there is a new phenomenon called the proximity effect. As more people are coming out, I see more politicians who are sympathetic with gays because the politician's gay children are coming out as well. When it is close to home, it makes a real difference. Thanks for the comments and the compassion.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 4 years ago from Placentia California

      Walt Kienia: This is what I said: "So why am I telling you all of this? The point I'm trying to make is, I don't believe gay people have a choice as to being gay or straight. They are born with a certain predisposition that not only affects them mentally, but in some cases physically. I don't know if it is in their DNA, but they are wired differently than straight people are. You can't pray away the gay or send them to therapy to change them. It just simply isn't going to work." The key phrase here is in the first sentence: "I don't believe."

      Why are you blowing everything I say out of proportion and putting down my hub? You didn't answer my questions as to how do you want me to conduct a sampling. How would you conduct it? Am I not allowed to state what I believe and have observed? If you were half way to the crapper with my hub, that means you take your computer into the toilet!

    • jlpark profile image

      Jacqui 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Walt - I'm gay and I'm not bothered by it, so..whats the problem? Peoplepower said at the outset that he did not know what made people gay, hell science doesn't yet, and even gay people don't know - we say we are born this way, and most if not all of us are - but WHAT exactly is it that makes us this way? We're still scientifically trying to figure that out.

      People is merely trying to understand, and stick up for his son - being supportive - as all good parents should. He's merely trying to put his thoughts on the Supreme Court issue in relation to gay people as he knows them. And in doing that, he's done a good job.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 4 years ago from Placentia California

      Thank you jipark, well said. I think Walt wants me to be an investigative reporter and do surveys and provide statistics. If he wants to prove me wrong, then he should do the research. I think he can't accept that people are different and that I'm expressing my opinion based on my observations. If we were not allowed to express are feelings and opinions on hub pages, then a very large percentage of hubs would not be allowed. Thanks again for your comments and support.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      There are in fact people who choose homosexual behaviors because they think it's cool, but in fact the vast majority of people who are homosexual do not choose that condition or situation, depending on how you wish to characterize it.

      In fact, the last time it was presented in one of my PSYC classes, about 10 years ago now, it was believed that the hormones that are part of the gestation process were either not timely, too many, or not enough, or varying these different options among fetuses. I know lots of homosexual people don't want to believe they are an accident of nature, but really, we all are, aren't we?

      Studies have in fact been done. Lots of them. Regarding whether children are harmed by being brought up in a home with homosexual parents. At that time the issue was adoption and these issues came up in the same PSYC class as mentioned above.

      The many studies determined that there were no more negatives in a homosexual home than in a heterosexual home, and that by and far children do better in a home with a family that loves and supports them than they do with no family at all, no close bonds, no support, and very little love or normalcy. It turns out homosexual people, both gay and lesbian, are just as able to love and care for a child and bring them up to be useful members of society as heterosexual couples are. Depending on the individuals involved, homosexual people may be better qualified. :)

      An excellent hub that will hopefully bring out the good in more people and help them to offer kindness and understanding instead of criticism.

      Voting up, useful, interesting, and will share and pin!

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 3 years ago from Placentia California

      Au fait: Yes, I believe all living things are variations on nature's game. All you have to do is look around you and see all the differences. When 50% of straight couples get divorced, who is to say what is better? There are times when the divorce has lasting effects on the children. in a sense, my son's situation could be a blessing in disguise. With his job as a air cargo pilot, he asked to fly all over the world at a moment's notice. This could place a great burden on him and his wife, if they were both straight couples. As it works out, as a couple they seemed to have an understanding of each other.

      As always, thank you for your understanding comments and sharing.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Wonderful hub:

      I want to focus on the concept of whether or not homosexuality is a choice. I most certainly agree that it usually is not, but let's explore the concept that some people are wired in such a way that it is.

      Well, so what! Why do we get so hung up on whether it is a choice or not. We're supposed to live in a free country where we can do what we want, as long as we aren't hurting anybody. Whether your hetero or homosexual shouldn't hurt anybody.

      We say things like, "They didn't choose to be this way," like it's an affliction. So what if they did. More often than not I'll choose vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce over strawberry ice cream with strawberry sauce. Is this an affliction? No. It's my choice and I'm free to make it.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 2 years ago from Placentia California

      Larry: You may be free to choose how your ice cream is topped off, but that is a far cry from people who feel they are sexually not attracted to the opposite sex. It is not an affliction. These are feelings that are deeply rooted at an early age and plague these people until they come out. Think of it as the difference between an Apple computer and a PC. They are both computers, but they have different operating systems. They both do the same things but in a different way. Neither system is wrong or afflicted, they are just different. Thanks for the comments.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      I agree with you, and perhaps I didn't write my thoughts well. I absolutely believe that 99% of the homosexual community is born how they are and there's a chance the other 1% may be too. I don't believe any of my homosexual friends had a choice in the matter. I was just pointing out that even if they did choose, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.

      Graham Chapman, one of my favorites from Monty Python, liked boys and girls, so he conducted an experiment. He sat at a bus stop and counted the number of women he found attractive and the number of men. I think men won out like 6 to 4, and that decided it for him.

      The point I'm trying to make is that there may be a very small percentage of the homosexual community who can choose or there may not. It simply doesn't matter. We can be whoever we want to be regardless of the thought process or genetic disposition that leads us to it. We should just accept one another.

      Let me put it as a hypothetical question. Hypothetically if you could choose one or the other, even if such a scenario has never existed in the history of the human species, shouldn't you have the right to do so without persecution?

      I understand if you disagree with me on some aspects of the topic, but overall we're on the same side here. Equal rights for all our good citizens and freedom of choice, freedom of preference, freedom of genetic disposition.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 2 years ago from Placentia California

      I agree with you. I believe there is a continuum from maleness to femaleness and it goes from one extreme to other and everything in between. That's where a very small percentage of the homosexual community may be able to choose there preference. But you are right, as long as they are not harming anyone, live and let live. My son has just told us that he and his partner are engaged. I have to be quite frank with you. My first thought was, this can't be happening to me and my son. And then I thought, it's not about me. It's about him. If it makes him happy, I'm happy. Who am I to judge his lifestyle? I've met his partner and their friends and they seem to be a great bunch of people.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Congratulations. I am very happy for your family and your son:)

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      The supreme Court ruling gave gays marriage equality on 6/26/15. A few years from now, we will look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. I hope you have a son-in-law in your family very soon. Voted up and interesting.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 23 months ago from Placentia California

      Catherine: Thank you so much for stopping by. I know this hub is out of date, but the essence of it is still relevant and gives the reasons to support the Supreme Court rulings. My son and his partner are very happy and it would be a sin to separate them. If they do get married, it will be a great relief for my wife and I to know they have the same legal, equal rights under the law as everybody else. Thank you for the voting. Also thanks for your reply to me on your hub. I think I will share this hub, even though it has the DOMA stuff in it.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      My suggestion--update it before you share. DOMA is history and marriage equality is law. Just add a capsule about the Supreme Court ruling and what it means and the reaction to it and make sure the other stuff is presented as history not current law. Get a quote from your son--that gives it human interest.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 23 months ago from Placentia California

      This hub has a some information about the Defense of Marriage ACT (DOMA) which is no longer valid because of the Supreme Court ruling on Same Sex Marriage. However it does have a lot of material that is relevant today and some of my personal case studies to support gay rights. Therefore I'm sharing it.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 23 months ago from Oklahoma

      Glad to revisit this hub after the new ruling.

      Hey, the U.S. has actually done something that isn't a**backwards for once, and miracle of miracles, the apocalypse hasn't begun and the world hasn't ended;-)

    • peoplepower73 profile image
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      Mike Russo 23 months ago from Placentia California

      Thanks Larry: I got all excited and shared it again without waiting for Catherine Giordano's latest reply. She suggested that I edit the hub and describe DOMA as history, but I did it in my comment instead. I think there are some people who can't deal with change who think the world is ending, because they still stand with their religious beliefs instead of the law of the land. It's interesting, if the law is in their favor, then they abide by the law, if it's not, they are willing to break the law based on their religious beliefs...fascinating. Thanks for the revisit.

    • jonnycomelately profile image

      Alan 11 months ago from Tasmania

      Wonderful hub, you and responders have said it better than I could.

      My best wishes to you son and his partner - hope love and life blossom for them.

    • peoplepower73 profile image
      Author

      Mike Russo 11 months ago from Placentia California

      Thank you so much for your comments and wishes for my son and his partner.

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