Well, it has happened. A day that we all wanted, but never really expected to see. The Supreme Court in America has ruled that gay marriage is a right that everyone in the country has, regardless of what State they are in.
A Close Call
It was a tight call, with it being a 5 to 4 decision. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, and was joined by four of the other more liberal judges.
It is the end of a long journey for the gay community. After years of battling for equal rights, they now have what every straight person has; the right to share their love in the bond of marriage.
This all came down whether individual States had the right to ban gay marriage on moral and religious grounds. Some of the more conservative states felt they had the right to impose their own laws on the matter. This all goes down to the separation of State and Federal laws in the States. For example, certain States allow the death penalty, whilst others refuse to allow it.
However, despite a great deal of argument between the nine judges, the five who voted to allow gay marriage in all States felt that as this was a human rights issue, and not just a matter of opinion, the Federal system had the right to impose the law on the dissenting States.
The case for allowing gay marriage was perfectly encapsulated by Solicitor General Donald B , Verrilli Jr.
“Gay and lesbian people are equal. They deserve equal protection of the laws, and they deserve it now.”
The Obama administration has gradually come round to the idea of allowing gay marriage all over the USA, and public opinion has certainly moved that way.
When people look at the progress that has been made, they need to remember that is was only in 1978 that a vote was held in California as to whether gay people, or anyone who supported gay rights, should be allowed to work in Public schools (for further explanation, watch the Oscar winning film, ‘Milk’). The meaning behind it was clear; anyone who was gay was considered a danger to kids. Just 37 years later, you have anyone in America being allowed to marry whoever they went, wherever they want.
There is of course a difference between protection and acceptance. I imagine it still isn’t a great idea to go to certain parts of Texas dressed like something from The Village People. Still, legal protection is the first step on the long road to us all being one people who accept each other, despite our differences.
Now let’s face it, there will be people in America who aren’t really keen on this to say the least. They will claim that it is stopping them being allowed to have their freedom of belief. And do you know what, those beliefs are real and they are entitled to them. However, what they will soon realise is that it isn’t negatively affecting them in the slightest. No-one is being forced to do anything; it just stops people being banned from doing things. It is all positive. To put it in more simple terms, your local Baptist Church isn’t going to bulldozed because it won’t allow people to get married within its walls. The Church will be protected if it doesn’t want to do it, simples. It is just that somewhere else, in a place where everyone is consenting, two people will be allowed to express their love in that truly special way.
I’m just waiting for the gay community to realise that marriage isn’t all it cracked up to be. When their sex lives go down the night after the wedding, I can see a lot of gay divorce coming our way soon enough.
Still, for now, I just want everyone to be happy. This is a truly wonderful day in the history of the USA, and indeed the world.
I think I’m going to go and have a drink to celebrate!