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Friday, June 26, 2015


No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization's oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

—Justice Anthony Kennedy, Obergefell v. Hodges majority opinion (emphasis mine)

Equal dignity in the eyes of the law:  the Supreme Court this morning in a 5-4 decision made same-sex marriage legal nationwide.

That makes it the law of the land.  Full text of the ruling, including dissents, in PDF format here.

THANK YOU, Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, Kagan, Breyer, and Kennedy. You have recognized us as fully human beings, inherently possessed of the same rights to liberty, equality, and human dignity as everyone else, and we are deeply grateful.

A new era has begun, a whole new world for us queer people. It's beautiful.

And I have lived to see this day.

Just rolled out of bed and speechless with amazement here.  I'll post more stuff on the ruling as I get to it.

President Obama spoke about the ruling from the Rose Garden this morning, saying: "Progress on this journey often comes in small increments, sometimes two steps forward, one step back, propelled by the persistent effort of dedicated citizens. And then sometimes, there are days like this when that slow, steady effort is rewarded with justice that arrives like a thunderbolt."

Full text of the President's remarks here.

And love rules in Texas - OMG Texas fucking Texas:

See also this post I made last year on Dallas couple Jack Evans and George Harris, who have been a couple since 1961.

And go check out the delightful corporate responses celebrating today's ruling at Joe.My.God.

Matt Baume of the American Foundation for Equal Rights reviews the constitutional standing of marriage in general, and explains why today's ruling is a win-win victory:

Your Head Trucker, by the way, respectfully disagrees with the learned Chief Justice Roberts, who in his dissent opined that "The Constitution has nothing to do" with gay marriage. As Matt just pointed out, it has everyfuckingthing to do with it, and with the promise at the heart of America - that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - the Chief Justice's deeply Catholic views on the subject notwithstanding.

But I fear that his dissent, as well as the clownish, apoplectic hyperbole of Justice Scalia's dissent - in his calmest phrase, he calls the ruling "a threat to American democracy" - are not merely unworthy of the highest court in the land, but will furnish ammunition for the haters for generations to come, and indeed invite a vehement, if not violent reaction.  By their dissents - which would callously deny to millions of ordinary Americans the equal protection and dignity of the laws -  they have disgraced themselves, and deeply dishonored the court and the country.

As much as we are entitled to celebrate this day - which by curious coincidence or design is also the anniversary of the Lawrence and Windsor decisions - we must not expect that prejudice, bigotry, and murderous hatred will simply dry up and blow away. The shooting last week in Charleston shows only too clearly that they can remain and fester in ugly, evil ways for many decades:  part of the sad, tragic story of our flawed human race.

And yet, sometimes we manage to lift ourselves above the level of the primordial mud and the law of the jungle, and approach towards the love that moves the stars - and today is one of those times.

Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp celebrates today's marriage ruling, and calls it a victory for conservative values that the Republican Party needs to embrace:

Andrew Sullivan, one of the earliest and most vociferous advocates for marriage equality, returned to his now-retired blog today to reflect upon the meaning of this victory:
This core truth is what Justice Kennedy affirmed today, for the majority: that gay people are human. I wrote the following in 1996:
Homosexuality, at its core, is about the emotional connection between two adult human beings. And what public institution is more central—more definitive—of that connection than marriage? The denial of marriage to gay people is therefore not a minor issue. It is the entire issue. It is the most profound statement our society can make that homosexual love is simply not as good as heterosexual love; that gay lives and commitments and hopes are simply worth less. It cuts gay people off not merely from civic respect, but from the rituals and history of their own families and friends. It erases them not merely as citizens, but as human beings.
We are not disordered or sick or defective or evil – at least no more than our fellow humans in this vale of tears. We are born into family; we love; we marry; we take care of our children; we die. No civil institution is related to these deep human experiences more than civil marriage and the exclusion of gay people from this institution was a statement of our core inferiority not just as citizens but as human beings. It took courage to embrace this fact the way the Supreme Court did today. . . .

I think of the gay kids in the future who, when they figure out they are different, will never know the deep psychic wound my generation – and every one before mine – lived through: the pain of knowing they could never be fully part of their own family, never be fully a citizen of their own country. I think, more acutely, of the decades and centuries of human shame and darkness and waste and terror that defined gay people’s lives for so long. And I think of all those who supported this movement who never lived to see this day, who died in the ashes from which this phoenix of a movement emerged. This momentous achievement is their victory too – for marriage, as Kennedy argued, endures past death.

I never believed this would happen in my lifetime when I wrote my first several TNR essays and then my book, Virtually Normal, and then the anthology and the hundreds and hundreds of talks and lectures and talk-shows and call-ins and blog-posts and articles in the 1990s and 2000s. I thought the book, at least, would be something I would have to leave behind me – secure in the knowledge that its arguments were, in fact, logically irrefutable, and would endure past my own death, at least somewhere. I never for a millisecond thought I would live to be married myself. Or that it would be possible for everyone, everyone in America.

But it has come to pass. All of it. In one fell, final swoop.

Know hope.

Here's YouTube's own celebration of marriage equality:

And to cap this momentous day in American history, here's a live shot time-lapse video of the White House bathed in a rainbow of light to celebrate the victory of love:

In case the video isn't working when you view this post, here's a screen shot I took - isn't it beautiful?

See more landmarks lit with the rainbow here and here.


Frank said...

A victory to be sure, yet after reading the Majority ruling and the dissenting opinions, I am not terribly impressed with the Majority's legal reasoning. It seems a bit like they were grasping at straws. I've made a few observations on ReluctantRebel.

Russ Manley said...

Yes, I too was struck by Justice Kennedy's poetic ruling, though now that I've had the chance to read the majority opinion in toto, it seems better grounded in constitutional law than at first glance. In any case, we will certainly take it.

My God, Frank - the five good angels among the Supremes just granted us the equal dignity of the law - finally, what you and I and millions of others have been waiting for all our lives. Think of all that means to us, and will mean to all who follow after us. It just takes my breath away, I can hardly comprehend it all.

I'll read and respond to your post on RR later today.

Frank said...

I think Matt Baume did a better analysis of the Constitutional underpinnings of todays ruling than the Justices.

Davis said...

I can hardly believe I have lived to see this joyful thing that has come to pass.

Frank said...

I bet seeing the Rainbow White House gave a few Republicans palpitations.

Russ Manley said...

Davis - I know just what you mean, brother.

Frank - Oh Mary, don't ask!

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