Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Half Right

Do same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry and receive all the legal protections and benefits as their heterosexual counterparts?

The Supreme Court had the opportunity to rule on this important issue. It passed.

By refusing to rule on the matter the Court let stand lower court decisions striking down same-sex marriage in five states: Virginia, Indiana, Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Utah. That brings to 30 the number of states where same sex marriages are legal. The number will in all probability increase to 35 relatively quickly. Same sex marriage bans are expected to be overturned in short order in Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, Montana and Arizona.

As you might imagine the LGBT community views yesterdays “non Ruling” as a major victory. I do not share their opinion.

I cannot say with certainty why the Court refused to rule on this matter. Perhaps they saw the sea change occurring in the lower courts and decided to let nature take its course. I personally feel that this conservative Court wanted no part of this decision. So rather than weigh in once and for all on this important issue, they took a pass. By shirking their duty, the Court effectively allowed discrimination against LGBT citizens to continue in 20 states.

If you travel to Washington D.C. you will have the opportunity to view a number of documents that we claim to hold in high regard: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Each of these documents in its own right espouses that as citizens of this country we are all equal and as such entitled to equal rights and protections. Members of the LGBT community are by birth citizens of this country. Like their straight counterparts they are required to pay their taxes and abide by the rules of law. Why then would they not be entitled to the same rights, protections and benefits as their straight counterparts? Why are they treated as somehow “less than.”

The Supreme Court was presented with the opportunity to correct this wrong…to confirm that which stands as the very cornerstone of our democracy…that we are all equal under the law. Through their silence they got it half right. It’s unfortunate that they didn’t have the courage to see it through.

In this country ALL men are created equal.

Not “SOME“…ALL”!

Perhaps one day we will come to fully embrace the concept.

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