I’ve been pondering whether or not to weigh in on yesterday’s Supreme Court decision affirming the right for gay couples to marry. I’ve been reading articles and blogs, mostly for, some that were vehmently against, same sex marriage. I really wanted to see how others framed the decision and honestly wheter or not I would be only joining in an echo chamber or if people really understood what this decision means.
I have to say I was really surprised how close the decision was; I was really expecting a 7-2 decision, knowing from past decisions that Scalia and Thomas would be in the dissent as they seem to me to allow their religious beliefs to inform their votes. Not always, but sometimes and in this case, I was certain they would.
I’m not a constitutional scholar and I’ve never pretended to understand the nuances of the constitution. I can however read the english language as well as anyone else and if the court had ruled against then what they would have been saying, possibly for decades to come, is that it’s okay to have a separate and unequal class of people. A new Jim Crow, if you will, for gay members of society.
Marriage is a civil contract between to individuals. Marriage has to do with property and inheritance and actually always has. It’s the state and not some god that recognizes that contract. Those religions that perform marriages under the sanctity of whatever diety they believe in do so with the authority of the state, not some invisible being. That’s why, even in religous marriages you hear at the end (at least I always have)”By the power (authority) vested in me by the state of [insert state here], I pronounce you…”
That pretty much puts to rest any argument that marriage is a religious institution, doesn’t it?
Is there a downside to this decision? I tried to read the dissenting opinion and really couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I just could not imagine that there were 4 people on the court that could not see that denying a group equal protection is blatantly unconsitutional; again, reading the plain language of said document.
I don’t see this decision as a win for the gay community as much as I see it as a win for society as a whole. We’re finally beginning to rid ourselves of ancient prejudice and injustice. How can that be a negative?