Tear Down Walls of Hate
In a few months the Supreme Court will hear two cases regarding same-sex marriage: Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples. For gay rights advocates, this should be a time for rejoicing mixed with a degree of skepticism.
Attitudes are changing towards same-sex couples, although many legal questions exist, starting with the Constitution.
We are left to speculate as to how the justices will interpret the definition of marriage and its constitutional meaning. One can only hope they interpret the Constitution as a living document that changes, evolves, and adapts to current social and economic trends. Or will they chain themselves to strict constructionist views with no deviation, which will set back human relations for generations?
I hope they do not lay on the tracks and let history run them over as previous judges did with wrong-headed rulings such as the Dred Scott decision or Plessy v. Ferguson. Nor do I want them to look for a legal “out” like the Missouri Compromise. I urge the court to be bold and emphatic by using as the template for judicial activism Earl Warren’s Brown v. Board of Education, which smashed Jim Crow, ended discrimination and eventually cleared the path for Barack Obama to be president.
As someone who opposed gay marriage and is still uncomfortable discussing homosexuality, I hope those that I insulted and bashed accept my heartfelt apology; like the apostle Paul, I also had scales over my eyes.
I am not God nor should I play Him by condemning someone who wants to be with whoever he or she chooses. As in John 8:7, “let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone.”
My conscience prevents me from condemning or insulting someone for whomever he or she loves. This conscience also prevents me from joining in with elements that pander to the darkest forces of our mind.
Like many who come from religious roots, institutional thinking and fear mongering against gay people was embedded in my thinking. My evolution has been tough but I have come to realize that whoever someone chooses to be with is not my concern. If someone pays taxes, risks his life in battle and is a law-abiding citizen – should he or she be denied the rights of marriage?
The same mean-spirited bigotry under the disguise of God has been argued to justify slavery, genocide and other atrocities against civilization.
It was only when we challenged the religious establishment on the validity of their beliefs that people realized there was no apocalypse or armageddon, as the religious hypocrites had warned. We now know that interracial couples don’t produce mongoloids but beautiful children, one being the president.
I believe our society works best when the judicial branch is actively playing a role in protecting those inalienable rights of our oppressed and most vulnerable.
I again urge the court to set a precedent like Earl Warren did with Brown v. Board of Education. This momentous decision cleared the path for equality in the workplace and ended segregation. Hostility toward gays is the last barrier of intolerance and making marriage legal would tear down the walls of hate.