- Gender and Relationships»
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender
Rainbow Flag Is Here to Stay
After 100 years of oppression and debate, it's finally happened
It's finally happened and rainbow banners are flying across the nation, for the Supreme Court of the United States has officially recognized the rights of the LGBT community to marry, have children, and live under the same rules, regulations, privileges and prohibitions as any other person in society, rights sorely denied them for over a century since the Ariston Hotel Baths raid in 1903. It's not complete freedom mind you, as there will most likely be those who will try fighting against the decision, but like homosexuality being declassified as an illness in 1994 and the overturning of Don't Ask, Don't Tell in 2010, legalizing gay marriage under Constitutional Law makes a significant leap forward on the ladder to success. It's the homestretch and they're in the lead.
As for staunch traditionalists and conservatives threatening to light themselves on fire, secede from the Union, protest viciously, or even revolt, they are just a bunch of hotheads who talk big but won't do anything. Nobody wants to risk the downfall of the Republic over the issue of who's kissing who; among the younger generations who will be fighting those battles, it's just not even a problem. In fact, most of them were probably marching in favor of, albeit silently, homosexual neighbors. Why? Democrats want to put the issue to rest once and for all, Republicans would rather focus on more important things like border-security and an ailing economy than posture for the conservative base about the religious implications, and every other party not mentioned a) either believes it should be legalized or don't care, or b) aren't important enough to have their opinion mentioned. The Supreme Court of the United States, the highest Court in the nation, has made its decision. So unless you're like President Andrew Jackson and have enough support with the people to violate a Supreme Court edict telling him not to send all the Native Americans to Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears, nothing is going to happen. Oh sure, people will rage and scream and shout, and make a really big fuss, but those protests will ring hollow against the roar of celebration.
Some dissenters, most notably Chief Justice John Roberts, have already started, stating:
"Today, however, the Court takes the extraordinary step of ordering every state to license and recognize same-sex marriage. Many people will rejoice this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not men, the majority's approach is deeply disheartening. Supporters of same-sex marriage have have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens - through the democratic process - to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept." And further goes on to say: “Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”
An unfair assessment in my opinion, considering the Constitution was used to justify the Federal Government's banning of gay marriage, prohibiting homosexual acts, and even making sodomy a crime punishable by jail time. In fact, the Constitution has been used constantly to regulate and criminalize otherwise lawful acts while legalizing clearly unconstitutional actions. How we interpret the Constitution and the meaning behind the laws has been the basis of the Courts' power, high or low. As for the Chief Justice's objections to five lawyers making the decision, that's what we hired them for! They are there to settle disputes. No one is denying that the Supreme Court is political, as all laws are, but they should not be ostracized for doing their job.
SCOTUS interpreted in a 5-4 decision that the 14th Amendment allows gay marriage, which it does in Section 1, which clearly states: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
"Equal protection of the laws," meaning that if a heterosexual can get married, so can a homosexual. The Constitution itself imposes no restrictions or limitations on marriage. Those who do not favor gay marriage do so so because of tradition, religion, fear, or abject hatred of something they do not understand or don't agree with, despite the separation of church and state, unfortunately. Many naysayers claim this will open the doors to legalizing marriages for bestiality, polygamy, and polyamory, but I tend to think not, considering livestock are not citizens and therefore cannot marry under the Fourteenth Amendment, and multi-spousal marriages are such a legal nightmare that most won't engage in it. Those worried about the civil backlash to their religions, marriages of all kinds in the United States still come with a standard contract form and a prenuptial agreement, regardless of which faith handles the ceremony. As for the freedom to object and/or discriminate again the LGBT community, any private business is free to turn away potential customers, which include approximately 10% of the general population (how are those quarterly returns doing? LOL).
As for the future, who can say what will happen? Personally, I would like Pride Day to become a national holiday for equal rights in which all partake and celebrate their personal independence; after all, who doesn't like a good party?