As the fight for Marriage Equality continues — now with the U.S. State of Alabama grabbing headlines for the insolence of Justice Roy Moore — and the Supreme Court having announced that they will hear arguments regarding cases overseen by the 6th Circuit Court of the United States I’ve been contemplating how this all came about. There have been several groups working tireless for decades to see equal rights extended to all people within the United States that do not hold to the hetero-normative standards; without the efforts of groups like The Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders helping make the U.S. State of Massachusetts the first U.S. state and only the sixth jurisdiction globally to recognize the basic human right of marriage for same-sex couple we would not be living in an age in which acceptance and recognition of same-sex couples’ rights has expanded exponentially. And yes, while the decisions within the courts — and the rare legislative motion — have been the means through which the official recognition of same-sex marriage has come to pass, the driving force behind the rising levels of acceptance has not been driven from exclamations from on high but rather by changing the thoughts and attitudes of the general populace. For this I believe we have these most visible people for their bold, fearless leadership in driving forward proper equality for all within the LGBTQ community.
Today the United States Supreme Court released a list of cases it will review during this current term. Vividly absent from this list were any cases regarding same-sex marriage validity. While this does not prevent the Supreme Court from taking up such as case in the future, what it does do is further cement the validity that there is no valid reason to prevent two consenting adults from having the same marriage benefits long since enjoyed by Good Christian Couples. But what is exactly is a Good Christian Couple (term my own), and why should it enter into the realm of legal recognition or protection of a relationship?
Effective tomorrow (today in Miami-Dade County) full marriage equality is the law of the land in Florida … at least for now. The ruling (and then clarified ruling) from Federal Judge Hinkle dictates that the now infamous 2008 Florida Amendment 2 passage declaring as part of the Florida Constitution that marriage can only be recognized as between One Man and One Woman is itself Unconstitutional at the Federal Level, and thus must be considered null and void. Couples have already begun marrying in Miami-Dade County at the time of this writing, which makes me smile to no end. It also means that this map now needs an update.
While this ruling could still potentially be overturned by a Supreme Court Ruling declaring that Marriage Equality is in fact not guaranteed under the rights put forth in the Constitution of the United States, for now Florida can say that it’s caught up to the other 35 States that recognize the fact that loves knows no gender or sexual boundaries between fully informed, consenting individuals. I’m still not proud to live in a State that voted to deny this right, but I am beyond thrilled that such bigotry and narrow-mindedness is at least being overturned.
Maybe someday Polyamory will see a similar social acceptance, and marriages will be extended beyond the basic couple structure. Only time will tell …
Stay SINful, friends.
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.
Today is a day of celebration.
Today marks the celebration of the life and aspirations of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., who sought for unity and equality among all people.
Today also marks the second public memorial inauguration of President Obama, who has worked toward realizing the dreams of Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.
Regardless of your race, your creed, your orientation, your household status, your heritage, your partnered status, your age, your sex, your gender, or any other qualifying label under which you may place yourself, remember this: until we all hold the same protection under the law, until we all seek to protect the oppressed, the frail, the wounded, and the persecuted — indeed, until we all rise up in love and hope — we all stand to fail.
Choose love and help fulfill a dream.
Stay SINful, friends.
The ever fantastic Lily Lloyd posted a picture on FetLife (the social-networking site for kinky adults) showing the position of all current U.S. Presidential Candidates for 2012 in regards to equal marriage rights. The answers are based on survey results, which were in turn sent out by MarriageEquality.org. The latest results, well… I believe they speak for themselves.