Some Day this War’s Gonna End

In the aftermath of the ruling on gay marriage in California, I’m republishing something I wrote a while ago about this issue. I hope one day we won’t have to write about this at all.

This battle is very reminiscent of the bans against interracial marriage which were eventually struck down by the Supreme Court. In the case of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court stated:

“Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.” (Just as a side note, Alabama had retained their law against interracial marriage on the books until 2000)

According to the Supreme Court, marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man”. However the bans against homosexuals marrying have been upheld in various court challenges. The highest court in New York basically said that the homosexuals cannot be given the same protection under the law because discrimination against them hasn’t been recognized until the recent past.

The New York Court of Appeals held in 2006:
“[T]he historical background of Loving is different from the history underlying this case. Racism has been recognized for centuries…This country fought a civil war to eliminate racism’s worst manifestation, slavery, and passed three constitutional amendments to eliminate that curse and its vestiges. Loving was part of the civil rights revolution of the 1950s and 1960s… It is true that there has been serious injustice in the treatment of homosexuals also, a wrong that has been widely recognized only in the relatively recent past, and one our Legislature tried to address when it enacted the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act four years ago (L 2002, ch 2). But the traditional definition of marriage is not merely a by-product of historical injustice. Its history is of a different kind. The idea that same-sex marriage is even possible is a relatively new one. Until a few decades ago, it was an accepted truth for almost everyone who ever lived, in any society in which marriage existed, that there could be marriages only between participants of different sex. A court should not lightly conclude that everyone who held this belief was irrational, ignorant or bigoted. We do not so conclude.”

I do believe that in time this will become a non-issue. It’s just a shame that the American people always seem to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into giving oppressed minorities equal protection under the law. The Supreme Court has usually had to take the first step and I do have hopes that over the next 8 years, the Court will address this issue and lay it to rest once and for all. Here is what Barack Obama said in his now famous Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic convention:

“For alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga. A belief that we are connected as one people. If there’s a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child. If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandmother. If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It’s that fundamental belief — I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sisters’ keeper — that makes this country work.”

And I would add that if there is one person or group who are having their “fundamental” rights denied, then we are all oppressed, even if my rights are not being infringed upon. Denying the fundamental rights of citizens to marry is separate from the fight for Civil Rights of African-Americans (and clearly less violent), but the right to vote, the right to live where you want and the right to marry who you want are unalienable rights that are essential to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, that according to the Declaration of Independence, we were all endowed with by the Creator. Eventually we, as a country, realized that denying basic rights to an entire group of citizens based on something as arbitrary as skin color was wrong. I hope for the day when we as a country will realize that denying the fundamental rights of any minority group makes us smaller and uglier in the eyes of history. The 14th Amendment to the Constitution was implemented to protect the rights of former slaves, but it should be applicable to every citizen regardless of their race, color, creed or sexual preference. The 14th Amendment, Section 1:

“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.”

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Posted by on August 4, 2010. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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15 Responses to Some Day this War’s Gonna End

  1. Tim Waters Reply

    August 4, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    We can celebrate for a hour, there already planning how to challenge it. Can anyone say Supreme Court..
    Baby steps

  2. osori Reply

    August 4, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    At least for now it’s some good news here in Cali with Prop 8 overturned. Like Tim says the haters and assholes are readying another biased stupid and ultimately futile fight against it but for tonight let’s all drink a toast to victory.

    They say this cat Mycue is a bad mother….
    Shut your mouth!
    But I’m talking ’bout Mycue…..
    And we can dig it!

    (read your bio)

    • MyCue Reply

      August 4, 2010 at 11:47 pm

      I’m glad you got the shaft reference. After all I am the cat that won’t cop out when there’s danger all about.

  3. Mother Hen Reply

    August 4, 2010 at 10:18 pm

    We are all diminished when one group is singled out and denied rights intrinsic to humankind. A great piece- I agree with every word.

  4. Infidel753 Reply

    August 5, 2010 at 4:37 am

    It’s just a shame that the American people always seem to have to be dragged kicking and screaming into giving oppressed minorities equal protection under the law.

    Yes, it is. A majority of Americans still support the laws against gay marriage right now (though opinion is shifting in the right direction), just as a majority favored the laws against “miscegenation” at the time of Loving v. Virginia. Civil rights should not be dependent on majority vote.

    As a striking comparison, when Argentina legalized gay marriage a couple of weeks ago, 70% of the public there supported the move. The case is similar in many western European countries. Thanks to our fundamentalist troglodyte population, we’re lagging behind as a society.

  5. Randal Graves Reply

    August 5, 2010 at 10:38 am

    That Shaft is one bad…

    I’m just sad that my heterosexual marriage will invariably end due to this activist ruling. I hope you gays are happy.

    • MyCue Reply

      August 5, 2010 at 11:29 am

      As has been said by many, why are we denying gays the right to be as miserable as the rest of us.

    • osori Reply

      August 5, 2010 at 12:09 pm

      Wait Randal-maybe I didn’t get the full explanation. This means only gays can marry and if we want to get married now we got to turn gay?

      Oh WTF. Haven’t had any luck with women for years.

  6. Gwendolyn H. Barry Reply

    August 5, 2010 at 11:19 am

    What M H says …. I’d surely like to echo here.

    Michael, it’s a tremendously good piece. Well said. Well writ. 🙂

  7. MadMike Reply

    August 5, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Another great post M. Thanks for giving me something to think about.

    • MyCue Reply

      August 5, 2010 at 2:07 pm

      Thanks, Mike. Like I said to Gwen, I used to be able to write interesting stuff when I was pumping them out on a regular basis. This article somewhat illustrates my problem though. I wrote this two years ago, and not only is it unfortunately still relevant, but I couldn’t come up with a new or better way to say it.

      • MadMike Reply

        August 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm

        It is even more relevant given the latest news. I am marketing this Michael. It needs to be read by lots of people. Keep writing. It makes us all better.

  8. Jess Reply

    August 5, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    EQUALITY won yesterday and I was there screaming like a banshee when it did, surrounded by people who have shhh, “teh ghey”
    The haters got the actions fronted to them the night before and had already filed with an appeal. Luckily for the good guys, this was a trial and it has all the evidence so it will be harder to win on appeal. BONUS, Walker used a lot of Kennedy’s own words with the summation saying this is unconstitutional.

    Funny how when things go the way the h8ers want it to, the judge is standing by the letter of the Constitution, when they lose, he is an activist homosexual judge. Who by the way was sent there first by Zombie Raygun then confirmed by Poppa Bush. So much for liberal activist judges. Dude even went against “teh gheyz” when there was a group trying to say it was the Gay Olympics. Walker was having none of that.
    Oh and not for nothing, the partying in the Castro district last night was awesome. To tell you how good, I had to be told where my car was this morning, Oh YEAH, that good.


    • osori Reply

      August 5, 2010 at 9:21 pm

      I remember those days, when I had to go walking around the neighborhood trying to find my car.

      • Jess Reply

        August 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm

        Like that stupid movie Dude, Where’s my car.

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