A clear majority of Americans and more each day favor Gay Marriage. While we do not decide Supreme Court cases based on the latest polling data, the Court must take into account where the nation is when a given case is brought before them. This is not the paranoid 1940’s and 1950’s where Gay people had to remain firmly in the closet about their sexual orientations and those they loved.
Americans are rapidly coming to the realization that Gay people don’t threaten them. They don’t threaten their heterosexual sex orientation or marriages and relationships. As more and more members of the LGBT Community have “out” status and are negotiating that successfully, we know more and more Gay people and find they are pretty much like everyone else and capable of both love and commitment like heterosexual couples are.
The paranoia, panic, fear, prejudice, and hatred are all born of ignorance. As that ignorance falls away people are growing more accepting of what has always been reality but has been hidden or unacknowledged.
The problem is that Gay people want to commit just as much to loving relationships with another person as anyone else does. They need to have the benefits of marriage and the commitment that goes with it.
It has been pointed out that the Court has affirmed marriage as a Constitutional right fourteen times in its history. Gay Marriage involves having equality before the law acknowledged so that Gay couples can have partners on their health insurance and can more easily inherit upon the death of their partner and to have all the legal and human rights that heterosexual couples enjoy be extended to them as well.
In the end, this is a civil rights issue as fundamental as any we saw during the Civil Rights years of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Equal treatment of all citizens under the law must be the pivotal principle in any decision from the Court. Whether it is Proposition 8 in California or the Defense of Marriage Act all such laws that work to discriminate against full and law abiding U.S. citizens must on their face be unconstitutional and void.
It is time for the court to boldly declare what we all know to be right, that who you love ought not be a legal or civil rights discrimination issue. We must accept and respect and show compassion and love for one another and our equality before the law for all of us and not just some of us.
Churches and religions that prohibit sanctioning Gay Marriage or lending it an official fact by their traditions, rituals, and scriptures may and should still be able refuse to solemnize it. The action of the court is primarily civil and that of the State and not private religion which itself is protected under the First Amendment.
Those co-religionists or people who do wish to solemnize it may do so. No one is going to be forced to attend a Gay Marriage or say it is holy if they or their personal religious belief just does not support that.
But to discriminate in the public marketplace or public square or before the law should be absolutely prohibited. What the opponents of homosexuality who still harbor homophobic thinking and behavior need to do is to think back to how and when they knew their sexual orientation was heterosexual. Nearly all if not all will say it just seemed to present itself as a fact along with their sexual drive appearing via hormonal change during puberty and adolescence.
Gay people as well as heterosexual people are simply wired that way. Nobody just sits themselves down and says “I think I will be a Gay man today.” Or I think I am going to join a heterosexual orientation this year. Our sexual orientation is some combination of nature via our very God-given miraculous genetic makeup and some bit of nurture that we all share but in different directions. God has made us this way since the beginning and the evolutionary development of human beings has seen to it that the vast majority of us are heterosexuals so that the propagation of the species will succeed. It has a lot to do with just how overactive our drive for bonding and sex is when we are in our childbearing younger years.
Science and adoption can make Gay couples into families. Full equality under the law, including marriage equality will if anything strengthen the broader institution of marriage by reinforcing the idea that love between two persons works best in a fully committed relationship before the law. The LGBT community asks no different treatment for those few who commit marital or sexual transgressions that are against society or community or intimate relationships we all cherish. It is time for the Court to declare that Gay Marriage is affirmed under our Constitution and that LGBT people have the same rights as anybody else. It is that simple. Let us have full equality and equal treatment under the law.
Gay Marriage is also a matter of social justice. God commands us to love one another not simply erotically but in community with each other and with her. People with no belief in a higher power usuallly have a set of ethics derived from life experience and the directives and example of their elders. We must have a compassionate understanding of each other’s differences and not just tolerance but a loving acceptance of who we all are.