The Progress We Make
Today was a standout day in terms of the ongoing fight for equality for my wonderful LGTBQ community.
First we had the wonderful surprise ruling from U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, who ruled that the Texas ban against gay marriage violated the 14 Amendment of the United States Constitution. In his ruling Judge Garcia wrote “Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent. Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution.” Similar decisions have recently been handed down in Virginia and Kansas, and the swelling tide is pushing toward one of these decisions eventually leading to a case being heard by the United States Supreme Court. As more decisions are made in favor of equality, the precedence will be further set for the Supreme Court to finally rule on the matter altogether. Such a hearing and decision would not come for a few years out, still, but the evidence thus far shows that the soon this chapter of legal discrimination will be able to be closed.
Additionally, today also saw Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona veto State Bill 1062, which included language that would have given any person or business legal standing to deny “impactful service” that would have required a compromise of one’s religious convictions. While the most popular reaction was that right-wing Christian businesses could then refuse services to non-heteronormative individuals, the broad spectrum written into the bill would also have allowed Muslim business owners to refuse service to “infidels”, or Catholic business or charities to refuse service to divorcees or unwed mothers. There was no discernible distinction between what would be considered an undue burden, and the evidence needed was nearly as sparse as simple testimony of conviction and belief. This was a victory not only for the LGBTQ community but also for every minority religious group in the state of Arizona that needs protection from the far too common bigotry paraded as Christian values.
Granted, neither of these rulings directly affect me. I don’t live in either Texas or Arizona, and while I identify as Bisexual, to the general public I appear to be relatively hetero-normative. I have Mrs. AP as my soon-to-be wife. We have a family together. While we have dated other men together in the past, and have had some wonderful threesomes with them and others, none of that translates into our public appearances seeming to be anything other than a normal, stereotypical American family.
I need these rulings to help be able to break out of appearing to be the stereotypical hetero-normative male. I need these rulings so that public perception can be further pushed into acceptance and eventual embrace instead of discrimination. I need these rulings so that I don’t have to worry about making a comment about another man in public, or kissing another man right after Mrs. AP finishes with him, or the three of us all holdings hands in public will cause uproars and become public issues. Yes, I’m terribly to live in one of the most liberal portions of Florida, so that when Mrs. AP and I have been out in public with another man we’ve not been met with derision, but not every county in Florida is that accepting. The state law bans marriage between anybody other than one man and one woman. Non-heteronormative couples are not allowed to adopt. For as non-Southern as Florida may be, it’s still conservative. Consider, then, that Florida isn’t even one of the top 5 most conservative states. If my fellow human beings who identify within the LGBTQ spectrum cannot receive equal treatment in any state, the fight is not yet over. If those same fellow humans cannot receive equal protection in every state, the fight must continue.
Today included victories in two important battles. Let’s work to keep those victories coming.
Stay SINful, friends.