Monday, June 29, 2015

Justice Roberts Got It Wrong in His Dissent on Gay Marriage

Damn straight (or gay) - pun intended! Just when I thought my country was staying a little off track, we find a way to get it right in a big way. We elected the first African American president way before most thought possible and now - better late than never - we have the audacity to give the Gay Community its American, unalienable right to - above all things - its pursuit of happiness.

An excerpt of Justice Roberts’ dissent, while seemingly and genuinely thoughtful and praising of the Gay Rights Movement, goes to the heart of how misunderstood the concept of equality is even among very, very smart people.

He writes: “Today, however, the Court takes the extraordinary step of ordering every State to license and recognize same-sex marriage. Many people will rejoice at this decision, and I begrudge none their celebration. But for those who believe in a government of laws, not of men, the majority’s approach is deeply disheartening. Supporters of same-sex marriage have achieved considerable success persuading their fellow citizens—through the democratic process—to adopt their view. That ends today. Five lawyers have closed the debate and enacted their own vision of marriage as a matter of constitutional law. Stealing this issue from the people will for many cast a cloud over same-sex marriage, making a dramatic social change that much more difficult to accept.”

What Roberts fails to understand, at least in this excerpt, is that same-sex supporters should not be under any obligation to persuade their “fellow citizens – through the democratic process – to adopt their view.” This was an unnecessary evil because we lived in a society where some people think its okay to impose their belief system and their idea of marriage onto everyone else – a mixture of ignorance or arrogance. What the ruling does, in essence, is do away with this additional requirement the Gay Community had to endure just to “earn” the same right everyone else already has.

Roberts seems to suggest this somehow hijacks or undermines the same-sex movement’s fight – not realizing that there shouldn’t be a fight in the first place! And to his point that this will “cast a cloud over same-sex marriage,” I would ask, “More than the one that already exists?” I think we can let the Gay Community speak to their plight.

Roberts seems to suggest that the onus is on the movement to help those who oppose gave marriage see the light. But here’s the thing: “social change” simply can’t wait on consensus or acceptance. It’s righting a societal wrong. And if that means passing a far-reaching law to force the change, so be it. If we waited on consensus for social change, that tall Black, Ivy League kid named Barack might still be having to take a sip from a different water fountain, sit in the back of the bus, or eat in a designated area. And he sure as hell would not be running our country and lighting the White House red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple tonight.

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