Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court nixes "states rights" to bar same-sex marriage, in historic 5-4 ruling

I was in a bank making a car insurance loss deposit exactly as my Smartphone beeped and tweeted the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.  The bank (Wells Fargo) said it could not turn on its TV to show breaking news on CNN.
In the past, in fact, I thought most decisions were rendered on Mondays through Thursdays. 
Right now, the Washington DCC Gay Men’s Chorus sings the National Anthem on the Supreme Court steps, just as it did at Nationals Park.
On Twitter, I upload the PDF for the ruling, joking that SCOTUS much have watched “Bulletproof Picasso” because it can “say what you mean and mean what you say.” That link is here. he official case is Obergefell v. Hodges.  The main reasoning is based on the Fourteenth Amendment and the incorporation doctrine.
States may not limit marriage based on gender and will have to allow same-sex marriages from others states. 
CNN’s master story is here.  Listen to Jeffrey Toobin’s video especially. Chris Johnson’s story in the Washington Blade is here

Same-sex marriage, with all the benefits to partners, is now legal in all 50 states, all territories and the District of Columbia.
The notion of “family values” gets more nuanced.  The personal tension will live between fantasy (driven by reaction to external trappings) and real relationships, with the ability to provide for others and maintain a relationship when challenged by adversity.  But the cultural pinnacle given to traditional sexual intercourse, in the minds of many heterosexual men, gets reduced and unlinked from this moral tension.

There is a theoretical right for reconsideration from the states affected, for about three weeks. 
The progress on marriage has been quick and stunning. In 1997, I published my hypothetical “Supreme Court opinion” on “don’t ask don’t tell”, and marriage was largely seen in terms of civil union.  In fact, I then even advocated a DOMA-like provision to let states experiment on their own, with progress in increments.  In 2003, in Lawrence v. Texas, Justice Scalia wrote a venomous dissent, inappropriate in today’s world (as in Toobin’s comments) and ironically predicted the ruling would lead to gay marriage.  It did.  In 2006, Virginia passed the obnoxious Marshall-Newman amendment, which William and Mary GALA lobbied against.   In the 2008-2012 period, Proposition 8 was all the news. Then came the repeal of DOMA.  Looking back 30 years ago, we were fighting for our political and real lives, literally, given the explosion of the AIDS crisis.  The historical turnaround is full circle.

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