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With This Ring...

There are plenty of strong, opposing opinions about gay marriage even among gays and lesbians but this passage from the recent (amazingly rational and straightforward) ruling by my new heroes, The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, perfectly sums up why the issue has always been a no-brainer to me:

Barred access to the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage, a person who enters into an intimate, exclusive union with another of the same sex is arbitrarily deprived of membership in one of our community's most rewarding and cherished institutions. That exclusion is incompatible with the constitutional principles of respect for individual autonomy and equality under law.

It's not about religion, it's not about the children, it's certainly not about morality, it's not about whether or not marriage itself is an outdated social institution it's just about autonomy and equality.

As I prepare for the infuriating backlash to this decision a stream of reactionary, conservative outrage that will surely aggravate my ulcers for weeks and months to come let's hope the Massachusetts State Legislature takes the hint and doesn't try to effectively invalidate this notion by passing legislation or even a constitutional amendment that denies the spirit of the ruling.

More to come, no doubt.

Comments (9)

1) BoiFromTroy: Unfortunately, "effectively invalidating" is exactly what the Court set the legislature up to do...giving them the opportunity to make this ruling no more significant than Vermont or California's DP laws. I am still trying to figure out why every gay blogger is in a tizzy. (Nov 19, 2003 11:31 AM)

2) Sparky: We shouldn't be in a tizzy over a fight for equal treatment under the law? (Nov 19, 2003 11:42 AM)

3) BoiFromTroy: Not at all, what I am saying celebrations seem premature...what they really did was "punt" to the legislature and will likely leave us with something less than is now expected. (Nov 19, 2003 1:08 PM)

4) Sparky: OK, gotcha. I agree completely. It's a legal victory that will prove to be hollow if it only galvanizes efforts to lock down marital rights against same-sex couples altogether. It's great that a precedent has been put on record, and one with excellent reasoning, but not so great that it leaves the door wide open for making the point moot altogether. (Nov 19, 2003 1:11 PM)

5) BoiFromTroy: ...and if you will allow me a dig at a Democrat, this ruling could have been even more significant had President Clinton's Defense of Marriage Act not become law! (Nov 19, 2003 1:25 PM)

6) John: If you'll review the historical record, Boi, you'll find that 'President Clinton's' DOMA wasn't. I think that the fires that this decision will undoubtedly ignite (positive and negative) will eventually be a positive thing. I don't have high hopes for the legislature's response, but it will finally be time for politicians, pundits, and pulpits to do more than talk about how their god(s) are offended by the idea of two men or women making a life for themselves together. The decision makes it necessary for the entire country to actually address an issue of fundamental unfairness, and THAT will be a good thing. (Nov 19, 2003 10:56 PM)

7) Stephen Hinton: Before the above statement goes uncorrected, the Defense of Marriage Act was not Clinton's legislation. Bob Barnes, reactionary Republican of Georgia, authored the legislation. In the heat of the Republican takeover of the U.S. Congress, masterminded by Newt Gingrich, that party dared Clinton to veto the bill. With the nation teetering on a political edge, Clinton signed the bill and moved on to navigate his reelection, thus denying the Republican-right control of both executive and congressional branches of our government. We are now living under the reality of congressional and executive control by Republicans. Clinton caved in and signed away equal protections for gays, I guess, is what the earlier comment is implying. The wisdom of his actions should be debated. But, please make sure authorship of that legislation is given to Barnes, Gingrich, et al. (Nov 20, 2003 8:06 AM)

8) BoiFromTroy: Bottom line, though, Clinton still signed it...now denying rights to most LGBT Americans. (Nov 20, 2003 11:44 AM)

9) John: That is what that sentence meant, Stephen. ;) "...'President Clinton's' DOMA wasn't." (Nov 20, 2003 7:42 PM)

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