May 1, 2015

Gay Marriage Round Two: 150+ Years Of Fights For Equal Rights

An anonymous man waves the rainbow flag in front of the US Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC on April 28, 2015.
This work "Rainbow Beacon" is a derivative of SCOTUS April 2015 LGBTQ 54663  by Ted Eytan used under CC BY. "Rainbow Beacon" is licensed under CC BY by jiveinthe415.com

by Roy Steele

If there are at least five Justices that vote to extend marriage equality to everyone across the land, we will win. When I say “we,” I include the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, as well as our country at-large. We all win if the court affirms marriage equality for all.


Washington, DC: Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that there was a historic gay marriage hearing this week,  at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC. The cases being litigated before the penultimate panel of legal arbiters, as provided for in our plutocracy Constitution, will determine whether same-sex marriage will be legal in all fifty states, and the territories, that comprise these United States.

I have to admit that this writer is tired and weary from listening to the cacophonous noise disguised as opinion, related to marriage and LGBT people, polluting our airwaves. The clueless pundits offered a variety of regurgitated opinions leading up to the oral arguments, and the smorgasbord of both intelligent and ignorant summaries in the days immediately following, have fried my analytical brain and dulled my senses.

What Happens Now Batman?


The nine Justices will be in conference today, and a vote will be taken to decide the collection of cases known as Obergfell vs. Hodges et al. If there are at least five Justices that vote to extend marriage equality to everyone across the land, we will win. When I say “we,” I include the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, as well as our country at-large. We all win if the court affirms marriage equality for all. If we lose, which is always a distinct possibility, we will be angry and hurt and pissed and heartbroken, and the fight will intensify.

Whenever I write or speak about gay marriage, and the gains we’ve made over the last decade, I always say that this is just a first step. It might take decades and decades, or more than a century (egads!), to prohibit discrimination, and build the legal framework to extend and guarantee equality, in equal measure to us all.

A Thomas Jefferson Quote from the Declaration of Independence "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

Patience Is NOT A Virtue


Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776, notifying King George III, that the United States are thirteen newly independent sovereign states that were no longer a part of the British Empire.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Since the Declaration was written two hundred and thirty nine years ago, our nation of immigrants have gone to war with each other over those “truths” that are “self-evident.” Neighbors and family members fought together in the Civil War, and some opposed each other, on battlefields and towns up and down the east coast. That war was over one hundred and fifty years ago, and we still have to hold our public and private institutions accountable for racism, discrimination, and the pervasive inequality, that is prevalent today.  

The New Civil Rights Movement?


People say that the fight for “gay rights” are the new frontier in the “civil rights” movement, and I disagree. We are waging a war to extinguish racism, eliminate sexism, and eradicate homophobia. We want to empower people of color, women, and gays, to stand together and demand the equality that Thomas Jefferson brilliantly articulated long ago.

While the weapons in the war have changed, we’re still debating what our ancestors took up arms for. The fights have moved from the battlefields of yore, to our living rooms and kitchen tables, to courtrooms and legislative chambers, on talk radio and the evening TV news, in every city and town across the country. Whether it was the Civil War of yesterday, or this so called “culture war” today, it’s really hard to believe that the issue is the same.

Equality. The struggle for civil rights throughout our nation’s short history, is synonymous with the fight for equal rights.

Equal Rights = Great Big Fights


Are we an egalitarian society that embraces equality, or will we maintain discrimination, and keep the status quo?

Europeans emigrated here in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to escape religious persecution and government oppression. It’s quite an accomplishment that a diverse group of people, with different languages and religious beliefs, came together and successfully fought off the British, to give birth to a new nation.  

Our founding fathers believed in liberty, equality, free speech, free association, religious freedom, freedom of expression, and free uncensored thought, which is why they established a secular government. They wanted to guarantee that Americans would be free from both religious and government tyranny, in order to enjoy “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The base principal of equality, wherein we’re all created equal, enjoy the same status, have the same civil rights, with a level playing field that personifies equal opportunity, is what America is all about.

Mike 'Holy Horny' Huckabee Is At It Again


The former governor of Arkansas, Mike 'Holy Horny' Huckabee, reflects the worst of what our country has to offer, and is NOT what America is all about. He makes inflammatory statements about the LGBT community that have no basis in fact, in order to fuel people’s fear, and scare people away from us evil and wicked gays.

The snake oil salesman says he’s a capable leader that’s qualified to be president, as he falsely claims that the criticism he gets for inciting anti-gay hate, is religious persecution that infringes upon his liberty.

Brian Tashman, a fantastic Research Associate at Right Wing Watch , wrote about a conference call that Huckabee had last week. He spread more lies to the listeners of the call,  and complained that political donors treat anti-gay politicians as “pariahs.”
In a conference call with conservative pastors today organized by the anti-gay Family Research Council, Mike Huckabee let loose with a litany of falsehoods about how marriage equality will lead to the “criminalization of Christianity” and demanded that states simply defy the Supreme Court if it strikes down bans on same-sex marriage.
“Christian convictions are under attack as never before,” Huckabee said in the call, which was meant to rally pastors to participate in the FRC’s upcoming “Stand for Marriage” event. “Not just in our lifetime, but ever before in the history of this great nation. We are moving rapidly towards the criminalization of Christianity.”
The former governor and likely GOP presidential candidate predicted that the government will bring “criminal charges” against those who oppose gay rights and pastors who preach against gay marriage. He even defended ex-gay therapy, claiming that the government is barring chaplains from telling those they counsel to “seek assistance” for a “homosexual lifestyle.”
It’s no wonder that our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state.

Huckabee has no respect for the rule of law. “Christian convictions” are NOT under attack, it’s anti-gay bigotry and hate speech that’s under attack. ‘Horny Holy’ Huckabee can think what he wants, and he can say what he wants, and he can believe what he wants, and he can worship any religion he wants. What more could he want?  Ohhh that’s right, he wants every civil right taken from LGBT people. He doesn’t believe that we are all entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, so fuck him.

Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia Run Rampant
 

We have to eliminate inequality and discrimination wherever we see it. Whether it’s Ferguson or Baltimore, the systemic racial bias in government institutions have got to stop. The  homophobia in the texting scandal that has rocked San Francisco, must be eliminated.  

When the LGBT community, people of color, and women, join forces and work together to build a framework that supports equal rights, discards discriminatory legislation, and promotes life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for everyone, we will see real change and be a formidable political force to be reckoned with.

At the end of the day, you can trace many of our nation’s problems, right back to inequality.

Equality represents a simple idea and a Herculean task, and I know we’ll get it right, one of these days.

The Supreme Court will issue their ruling in June. I hope and pray that THEY get it right.

straight talk in a queer world.            jiveinthe415.com

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