SCOTUS on Prop 8 and DOMA

891651_10100669254725536_1828519658_oAll of these legal theories hurt my brain. I tried to use my powers of clairvoyance, but they have been lacking in the last few months. I’ve lost nearly every game of poker that I’ve played recently. However, I’m hoping that I can at least offer you some encouraging words to hold on to until the Court decision is handed down – possibly in June.

In our country, we freely throw around the terms “Freedom of Speech”, “The Right to Vote”, “1st Amendment Right”, or even “2nd Amendment Right”. On some level, all of us are familiar with the rights guaranteed to us under our Constitution in the Bill of Rights. These first ten amendments were deemed necessary to ensure that our government did not try to abridge these ten rights that were assumed to be granted to us as free, self-determined people.

Marriage is not one of those rights they enumerated. Why not?

Because then as now, it could not be conceived that the government would ever deign to tell a free, self-determined person to whom they may commit in a loving relationship. That it could every be stripped away or denied or that we would ever need protection from such action was beyond contemplation.

If you think this is my wild imagination, then consider this: even the people for whom society has no forgiveness, a prisoner on death row, who is afforded no right to vote, has no right to bear arms – they have the right to marry. From Turner v. Safley in 1987, the Supreme Court decision stated that, “Prisoners have a constitutionally protected right to marry…”

A right, I might add, that you do not have.

In 1967, Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote in the unanimous court opinion for Loving Vs Virginia, “Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival…”.

We all understand this. This is not news to us. However, it seems, at times we are yelling at a brick wall when explaining this to our opposition.

You must understand, though. The people that are fighting against us don’t really care about legal arguments because legal arguments won’t assuage their fear. Somewhere in their past their is a darkness, that terrifies them, and some have turned to religion to construct defensive walls that keep this terror at bay. This is not all religious people. This is only some. However, their fear is real and they are to be pitied not hated. However, those that would use this fear for political gain are despicable.  They are the ones holding this country back.

Our culture is filled with references like, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” or “If we open a quarrel between past and present, we shall find that we have lost the future.”

Think to when you were younger and dreamed that one day you too could live in the past. Wait…you didn’t did you? Isn’t interesting how as a species we daydream of what the future will BE like, that we instinctively look forward, rather than backward? We’re all familiar with the craziness of people waiting in line for days for the newest iPhone. Can you imagine people waiting in line for days to be the first person to own a rotary telephone TODAY? or a portable cassette player TODAY? Of course you can’t. That’s in the past. We don’t want the past. We want the future!

If it doesn’t come about this time around. It will come. It is inevitable and it is a future I believe is worth working for.