The smoke and dust are starting to clear in my small, northwest town after the roving bands of same-sex engaged couples looted shops and tore down goal posts, overturning cars and setting fire to bibles. Across the country, millions of gay celebrants shut down the economy, waving pseudo ISIS flags depicting disgusting sex toys. Rainbow–clad-60-something-same-sex couples picketed in Kansas outside the Westboro Baptist Church and chanted “neener, neener” while hugging and kissing each other with serpent-like tongues while Facebook turned everyone’s profile picture into a Skittle bag.
The end of the freaking world has come! The apocalypse is swirling down from heaven on the wings of the four horsemen and the fallen angels of Satan’s armies are rising from the bowels of the earth to consume the wicked nine old men and women who have defiled God’s most holy of holies by letting more people seek comfort in it.
Or maybe I just have indigestion.
Last Thursday’s Supreme Court decision affirming that states cannot ban same-sex marriages was the rightful cause of much celebration and dancing in the streets. But if you think that decision lays the whole issue to rest, you need a serious Gibb’s slap. The decision has settled the issue as a legal question for the short term, but it may have widened the rift between the conservative, evangelical right and everyone else. If there wasn’t a war on Christianity before, there certainly is now in their eyes.
Glen Beck says he has 10,000 pastors in his Black Robe Regiment who are willing to die to retain the one man, one woman definition of marriage. He has 10,000 pastors ready to die. Just how does that work? Do they choke on their own bullshit? I haven’t heard anything about armies of gay couples who want to kill pastors.
“This decision will pave the way for an all-out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision,” according to Bobby Jindal. And when the assault comes, the Glenster and his Black Regiment will be ready.
“The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than it can the law of gravity,” says Mike Huckabee, presidential candidate for the Religion in Government party.
Let me get this right. Marriage is a “law of nature.” Only about 3% of the animal world is monogamous, and I have never seen one spend $20K on a dress and stand up in a church. Apparently what Pastor Huckster really means is that marriage is a natural law of humans, and nature’s god is therefore man’s god and by that he means his God. Perhaps this is the place to point out that even his God didn’t always define marriage as one man and one woman either. Sometimes it was one man and several women, or one man and a woman’s slave woman, or his dead brother’s wife. The emphasis is always on the one man, however.
So when the Supreme Court ruled last Thursday in Obergefell vs Hodges, it wasn’t ruling on God’s law. It was ruling on man’s law. Specifically, on laws passed to abridge the civil rights of a segment of the population which has grown more prominent over the years. And that is exactly what the court was created to do. It rendered a defining decision on what has been the subject of over 20 years of court battles. And it didn’t do that based on belief (although if you read the dissenting opinions, you’ll find plenty of that), but on the law as it has been interpreted again and again.
This decision was based on four principles. The first was that choice in marriage is a personal liberty, and Justice Kennedy pointed out that this was the same reason the court overturned bans on mixed marriages. Secondly, the majority decision asserted that same-sex couples have the same right to “intimate associations” as opposite-sex couples and that marriage is a protection for that right. The right should understand this easily enough. The entire abstinence only campaign is based on the idea that if you want to screw, you have to first get married.
In rejecting the laws banning same-sex marriage the ruling points out that the decision of opposite-sex couples not to have children is protected by precedent and therefore the right to marry cannot be based on the ability or the commitment to procreate. And on the topic of children, the ruling says, “Without the recognition, stability, and predictability marriage offers,” the children of same sex couples suffer harm and humiliation.
Lastly, the decision refers to the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection and due process. Several past decisions are cited.
You are welcome to disagree with the court’s decision. Hell, four members of the court did that. A Baptist Minister in Texas (where else) claimed he would set himself on fire if the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage. Who’s got the marshmallows? Oh, wait, after the decision he said he was speaking metaphorically. No S’mores after all.
You are not welcome, on the other hand, to ignore it.
None of those on the Presidential Bozo Bus said they would ignore the Citizens United decision. They were very happy to accept the big bucks coming their way from that one. All of them disagree with this ruling.
But some of them have decided not only to disagree, but to also oppose this one. Much like scripture, they reserve the right to pick and choose what decisions they will follow.
Ted Cruz, now that the Supreme Court Ruling in Citizens United has made a mockery of election financing, is proposing a constitutional amendment that would force Supreme Court judges to stand for popular election every eight years if they don’t do what he wants. Cruz is going to make his opposition to this ruling “front and center” in his campaign – you know, the campaign to become President of the United States and swear in a big ceremony to uphold its laws.
Other Republican candidates have taken a more rational tact. Jeb Bush says he disagrees, but that the Supreme Court has ruled and that “while I strongly disagree with the … decision, their ruling is now the law of the land.” At least Mr. Bush recognizes the way the American government was designed to work.
Even Lyndsey Graham showed restraint. “I am a proud defender of traditional marriage and believe the people of each state should have the right to determine their marriage laws. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that state bans on gay marriage are unconstitutional, and I will respect the Court’s decision. Furthermore, given the quickly changing tide of public opinion on this issue, I do not believe that an attempt to amend the U.S. Constitution could possibly gain the support of three-fourths of the states or a supermajority in the U.S. Congress.”
But lest you get all verklemp over right-wing conservative rationalism, keep in mind that while the Obergefell vs Hodges decision makes it illegal for states to have laws that ban same-sex couples from getting married, that doesn’t mean that clerks necessarily have to issue licenses or that judges necessarily have to perform a ceremony. There is that whole section of law revolving around the exclusion clause in the First Amendment that is not yet settled.
The Texas (where else) attorney general, Ken Paxton, has issued a statement saying “state workers can refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses if doing so is contrary to his or her religious beliefs.” He goes on to make clear that he thinks this is probably illegal since they “may face litigation and fines, but there are lawyers willing to defend them.” So he is not above encouraging people to break the law in order to further his own religious beliefs.
And, ironically, even though the majority decision cites protection of children of same-sex couples as a reason for allowing such couples to marry, that decision does not address the recent flurry of laws passed to keep same-sex couples from adopting!
This decision is a significant step forward for this country and should be heralded as such. It is also important to note that it would have been impossible without the appointment by Barack Obama of Kagan and Sotomeyer, but make no mistake here: it has changed no one’s mind. It has, in fact, made the opposition simply dig in harder, in the same way that taking down a few confederate flags in the south changes nothing about how many southerners feel about blacks or that agreeing not to use the word n****r makes racism go away.
Without the actual marriage ceremony on which to focus their attention the haters and the hypocrites will now find other avenues to express their hatred and hypocrisy. And you can count on that.
The Republican Bozo Bus is crammed to the top with those who hold belief above law and civil liberty. Here is criteria number one for throwing a few of the bums off: if you want to be president so that you can change the way our government is constitutionally organized to make it easier to force your religious beliefs down our throats – here’s your stop.
Your Humble Servant,
The Willowbrook Curmudgeon