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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

AND YET ANOTHER RANT ABOUT LGBT RIGHTS




And you thought that I was through commenting about LGBT Rights?



I wanted to take a break and focus on other issues (like my studies) but sadly the real world does not stop for me.
Two stories that I have seen posted across Facebook among the Michael Watts LGBT Caucus (Note: the requirements to join this caucus is that you support LGBT Causes, that’s it. The leader of the caucus is this guy).
First was the recent announcement (also reported by The Advocate and Talking Points Memo) that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a federal judge in Boston.
Judge Joseph Tauro, who has been on the US District Court of Massachusetts since 1972 (he was appointed by this guy), made these rulings stating that the passage of DOMA broke the law.
First, Judge Tauro stated from a dissenting opinion that: “The Constitution ‘neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.’” Anyone knows which dissenting opinion that it is from? Anyone a Supreme Court expert?
That was from Justice John Marshall Harlan. He was the lone dissenter in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the case that ruled “Separate but equal” was constitutional.
Then the judge struck down the Obama Justice Department’s rationale for supporting DOMA when it stated that society need to time to support same-sex marriages. Let’s take a look at history real quick…
June 11, 1967: Interracial marriage NOT OK in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
June 12, 1967: Loving v. Virginia rules UNANIMOUSLY that those laws in the stated states are unconstitutional.
June 12, 1967 (seconds after ruling): Interracial marriage OK in the United States.
Coincidently enough, the controversial film (for that time period) Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was released that year.
Today, interracial marriages are very common. It’s not that big of a deal (well except for that Louisiana JP). We look back at that and ask ourselves why we wasted time with such a disgusting idea. In fact, a professor from Arizona State University recently penned a piece for NPR about how the right to marry has become a family tradition. Her parents were impacted by the laws preventing their union similar to what she faces today with her wife (I call it as I see it).
Another point that the judge ruled DOMA unconstitutional was that when Congress passed the measure in 1996 the goal was to encourage procreation. Again, that is all that a marriage is good for: Procreation? So, ideas like love and enjoying each other’s company do not mean anything? What about infertile/childless-by-choice couples? By that logic, they don’t deserve the same rights as “breeders (Prefer definition 3).”
Now since DOMA has been ruled at this level unconstitutional and the impending ruling on Prop 8 in California, this could set up for a possible appearance of marriage equality in front of the Supreme Court. Because DOMA has been ruled unconstitutional at the federal level, it could set up to where other states may enact their own forms of DOMA (like Texas for example).
The Marriage Equality issue needs a Loving v. Virginia (1967) equivalent to rule those individual states definition of marriages unconstitutional. I am thinking that it could show up on the Supreme Court docket by 2011 at the earliest.
You know you have the four liberal justices (Kagan, Sotomayor, Breyer, Ginsburg) in favor of Marriage Equality (which means it will get heard by the court through writ of certiorari). Robert and Scalia are possible no’s but could be persuaded to yes IF the attorney arguing for Marriage Equality is Theodore Olsen. Earlier this year he wrote a piece for Newsweek titled “The Conservative Argument for Gay Marriage.” Currently, his opponent from Bush v. Gore (2000), David Boies, and he took on the task to overturn Proposition 8. That means the potential swing votes are Thomas and, of course, THE SWING VOTE: Kennedy.
Finally, the other story that I have seen in passing while scrolling on facebook was that The Today Show expanded their series of “Modern Wedding Contest” to same-sex couples.
Let’s play a little geography lesson.
New York City is in New York. New York will perform a same-sex marriage IF the license is obtained in another state. Which of the following states is CLOSEST to New York City?
I am actually surprised at the NBC executives. I am willing to bet that a large amount of people that work in New York City live in the nearby states of New Jersey and Connecticut (revealed the answer, D'OH!). C’mon, how hard is it to get a marriage license in Connecticut and then do the ceremony in New York?
I’ve said it once, and I will say it again: products of an underfunded education system.
There were some comments on facebook about how people will never watch NBC again because of this.
My Leno ban has more credibility than their ban of The Today Show.
To those people who will never watch The Today Show because they expanded their contest to same-sex couples (at 11:15 of the clip): “What Jon Stewart says!”

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