Supreme Court: Same-Sex Marriage a Right

I never thought I’d live long enough to see this hoped-for day. Congratulations to all American couples who finally won legal recognition for a universally cherished legal and moral right. Summitlake.com has argued for same-sex equality from 1995 until the recent time where we were just one more small voice in a national “yea” for equality for all.

Not to quibble excessively about something we’d looked forward to for half a century, but there was something disturbing about the 5-4 split on the court.

As reported in the New York Times analysis:

Chief Justice Roberts wrote. “Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

We’re left with a stronger impression that marriage – any marriage, heterosexual or same-sex – is deemed a privilege granted by the States, not a right. We urge fellow Americans to consider that if a “right” can be imperially granted, a broad swath of individual rights not explicitly enumerated in our great Constitution may be deemed “privilege” that can be taken away. We (all Americans) must defeat the notion that rights can be compromised under the uncertainty and inequity of popular or regional votes.

news photo:

Same-Sex Marriage a Right - SCOTUS

845 total views, 1 views today

Arizona’s New Anti-Gay Bill

My cousin wrote me today expressing shock at the Arizona legislature’s passage of a blatantly rabid anti-gay bill. The bill has not been signed by the Governor, and it is not yet law. The bill would allow business owners asserting their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays and others.

If somehow you missed it, you can read about the legislation any most anywhere. But here is The New York Times link.

I wrote back to my cousin:

Thanks for your support! AZ Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a similar bill a few years back, and I suspect she’ll veto this one. I understand there are already a very few anticipatory signs up in shop windows. There are so many places to eat and shop in big cities like Phoenix that a merchant with such a sign is just advertising, “we aren’t much interested in staying in business” or maybe even “I hate my plate glass window.” In small towns, and AZ has lots of those, there is bigger potential for harm and hurtfulness.

In the Phoenix Metro area (and in Tucson) there are large Democratic and moderate Republican populations and they are pretty good places for everyone to live. As for the bill itself, if actually passed into law, I think it would be struck down in the higher courts. That is not to say it isn’t dangerous, but that mindset belongs to a shrinking and discredited minority.”

And here, from the New York Daily News, is what one Tucson businessman did in response to the bill: “Arizona pizzeria’s amazing response to state’s anti-gay bill.”

 

This post is also published in La Parola, our gay issues department.

609 total views, 1 views today

Why Undecided Youth Should Vote Democratic in 2012

Maybe you’re thinking neither political party has a handle on the economy. Maybe you’re mad at Team Obama because he couldn’t reach out across a bipartisan aisle like he thought he could. Maybe you’re thinking you won’t even vote in the 2012 election.

Well, the GOP’s “social conservative” plank should be the deal breaker for you.

If you’re from a poor or middle income family, or you’re an ethnic or cultural minority, or a woman, or gay, you’re a target. If your civil rights are eroded or actually taken away by legislative fiat, you lose full civil equality. You lose your standing as a fully equal citizen to debate and argue the national issues, including both the economy, and your own right to have a fully enfranchised say in it.

No matter who you are, or what your background and upbringing was, maybe you just think it’s time we work together to put the “all” back in “all men are created equal.”

“Social conservatism” is, among other things, a cancerous code word for anti-gay, anti-women, anti-minority, anti-Islam and even anti-Semite.

Most Republicans don’t fit that description, and many are as nice as any other folks you’d hope to meet. Right now, though, if you vote Republican, you’re stuck with the “social conservatism” baggage a cult minority has imposed on the much bigger GOP.

As Chris Rock said, “If you vote against Obama because he can’t get anything done, it’s kind of like saying ‘This guy can’t cure cancer. I’m gonna vote for cancer.”

You can register for any political party you want, but vote for Obama so we can get on with the business of fixing our country.

_____

If you liked this message, please feel free to email it to your friends, or post it to Facebook or other social media. Alex Forbes Sept 2012.

4,490 total views, 3 views today

On Honoring the Opinion of Others

It is a fine thing to honor the opinion of friends with whom we disagree, and it is just and proper to recognize and defend the right of others of any walk of life to disagree with us.

But, no one has a moral right to call for the oppression or destruction of others whose greatest offense may be to try to live their own lives in peace. Expressing opinion must always be a protected right, but advocacy for the legal disenfranchisement of others is never an opinion — it is a call to force in disguise.

When we encounter such attacks on the edifice of rights, either individually or through the vote, it is always wrong to remain silent. It’s moral and spiritual treason to acquiesce to prejudice and oppression by pretending it to be mere ‘opinion.’

412 total views, 1 views today