A Victory For Marriage Equality And A Long Road Ahead

The historic Supreme Court decision last week to overturn the ironically named Defense Of Marriage Act was a significant win for human rights. While it does not exactly bring marriage equality to the entire US, the ruling does set a wonderful human rights precedent. It will also have a very real impact on a lot of married couples who will now have the federal government recognize their spousal rights . . . if they are legally married within an equality state.

Unfortunately, while the number of Marriage States is still growing, the majority of the states are still dragging their heels. That includes my state, where same-sex marriage is still off the table. The knowledge that things will get better is only a small comfort, since there are people being denied their fundamental rights right now.

Still, this is a win. DOMA is dead, and couples all over the country will benefit, even if many of those benefits are mundane things—like filing taxes jointly.

The Supreme Court made a narrow ruling on Prop 8 (California’s now-dead ban on same-sex marriage), ruling that the case technically should not have come before them rather than ruling that they found fault with a voter referendum on whether or not fellow American citizens get all of their rights or not. It seems like a distant victory to many of us, but California is a populous state and people can resume having their rights to legally recognized marriages.

Which is really wonderful. Both were, for many Americans, largely symbolic victories. But while the Obama administration figures out exactly how to best recognize marriages on a federal level (there’s a lot involved and they’ll have to figure out how some things work), we’re all celebrating—and we should. Because this was a good thing. And we should celebrate now, because we have a lot more civil rights ground to cover for the LGBT community.

Also, here’s my favorite response to the ruling, which came from Logo’s own blog on Tumblr (as a gifset, but I’ve screencapped it to show you, here). It’s just . . . perfect.



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Majority Of US Catholics Support Marriage Equality

This news should not really be so surprising, should it? The US population is continuing to (slowly) grow more accepting of the rights of its citizens. Despite apparent backtracking in some places (states moving to restrict a woman’s right to choose and access to birth-control, a few states—including my own—passing measures opposing same-sex marriage instead of recognizing it), we are, as a group, moving forward.

And it would have been nice if this weren’t even an issue (when I was a child, I had no idea that same-sex marriages weren’t legally recognized), but it’s better late than never. It’s nice to see that American Catholics are taking the lead among US Christians. Which, if I lived in a purely theoretical world, would be surprising.

Thinking about things theoretically (and ignoring my life experience), I know that I would expect Protestant Christians to be more in favor of same-sex marriage than their Catholic counterparts. Roman Catholics get their . . . let’s call them “policy updates” . . . from the Vatican, and the Church has shown no ambiguity in their disapproval of marriage equality. They are not only opposed to same-sex marriages within their own institution, but to legally recognized same-sex marriage between non-Catholics, within other religious traditions or entirely secular.

The Vatican sets policy for Catholics worldwide and, one might think, all actual Catholics would abide by that. But we know that that is not the case. The Vatican is also opposed to almost all forms of birth-control. Meanwhile, a survey of US Catholics found that eighty-two percent of them believe that the use of birth-control is morally acceptable. The Catholics who have Weasley levels of children, and it is not intentional? Or the Catholics who “lapse” just enough to have premarital sex but who balk at using condoms? They’re the exceptions, not the norm.

That’s showing itself to be the case for marriage equality, and I am delighted. Perhaps it is because Catholics are more populous in urban areas of the US, where attitudes are generally more liberal (it’s not always as easy to label a minority group as scary or immoral when you live around a bunch of them and know it).

I am excited for a better future. Also, impatient for it. Let’s get everyone on board with marriage equality as soon as we can, okay?



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LOVE Will Conquer ALL

I’ve spoken about being pro-equal rights. I’m a huge advocate for same-sex marriage. I’m a huge advocate for equal rights for all people…and animals. I’ve been very upset and angered by the hate I hear being preached during this very important time. On the 26th and 27th of this month the Supreme Court is hearing arguments for same-sex marriage. There is only one argument that I feel is worthy, and that is: people have an inalienable right to marry the person they love no matter of the gender.

It’s been hard for me to have a positive attitude during this time because I am so angered by the blatent ignorance and hate. But then I read this article by the NY Daily News:

“Jenna Wolfe and Stephanie Gosk of NBC come out as couple; reveal engagement and baby on the way”

NBC newscaster Jenna Wolfe is The Today show’s Sunday anchor. Wolfe said she and partner Gosk, a foreign correspondent at NBC, have been together three years, plan to wed and will have a baby by December. Here are some choice quotes from Wolfe’s blog and her appearance with Gosk on the Today show Wednesday morning:

“My girlfriend, Stephanie Gosk, and I are expecting a baby girl the end of August,” Wolfe, 39, wrote in the debut post for her new pregnancy blog.

“We felt like we wanted to share our adventures with a wide-eyed, little person,” she blogged. “The more we talked about it, the better the idea seemed.”

“We were constantly on the road, juggling a thousand balls at once,” she told the mag. “It’s a miracle we got it all together.”

“This is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to us,”

“But I don’t want to bring my daughter into a world where I’m not comfortable telling everyone who I am and who her mother is.”

“The beauty is that we live in a time where there’s no need for secrecy.

“For a long time I had feared I would never have a child”.

“This baby doesn’t care that I was in phenomenal shape before getting pregnant. She doesn’t care that I had a near perfect diet. She made the first four months brutal for me … B-R-U-T-A-L.”

“There were days when all I could eat were Saltine crackers, Apple Jacks dry cereal and plain pasta,”

“As a kid, I would have chosen raising my adrenaline over raising children any day of the week. But then a funny thing happened on my way to adulthood … I grew up. I ran smack into the old nursery rhyme: “First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes Jenna pushing a baby carriage”

I didn’t attribute names to the quotes because they could be the words of any couple. These two are in love, they want to make a lifetime commitment to each other and share that with the world, and they want to raise their child together. It’s beautiful.

As I said before I’ve been down and angry about what I’ve heard as a result of the same-sex marriage hearing. But then I heard this…and I was reminded the love is beautiful, family is what matters, and people can scream hate at the top of their lungs, they can twist the word of God to work for them, they can try as hard as they possibly can to stop it…but LOVE will win. LOVE always finds a way.

In the darkness it’s hard to see the light…but light will come. Hate is dark…love is light. I have faith that LOVE will win, maybe not today…maybe not even in my lifetime…but LOVE will continue to grow, you can try and stop it but you will never stop people from finding each other—from loving each other—from supporting each other…LOVE will win.



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Superman: Not Having Orson Scott Card’s Anti-Gay Nonsense

This story, about Orson Scott Card signing on with DC Comics to be a recurring guest writer for a Superman comics series, was one of those posts that I kept putting off writing because I was sure that the story was going to develop. When it first struck my interest, it was just that many comic book stores were planning to boycott that specific title. Later, I read that the series lost its artist over the controversy. More recently, DC announced that it had put the project on hold.

This is good news.

I should explain, in case you’re wondering: “Who is Orson Scott Card?” or, better yet: “Wasn’t he that nice man who wrote Ender’s Game?”

Orson Scott Card is a writer. I really enjoyed reading Ender’s Game—as a ten-year-old, it was nice to read a book about a young, intelligent protagonist. The writer had clearly put a lot of thought into how young, highly intelligent children thought.

OSC is also a Mormon, and well-known for his strong anti-gay political views. Now, I once read an article suggesting that no one should avoid OSC’s work for his political commentary and activism, because he is a Mormon, and that opposition to gay rights (including marriage equality) has long been a part of LDS policy. Basically, the writer (of an article which I read years ago and was unable to relocate) said: “His religion is anti-gay, so if you’re going to avoid him for sharing that view, you should avoid everyone of his religion, which would be impractical.”

Guys, that’s nonsense. For one thing, I’ve had Mormon friends who are totally fine with gay rights, and who support marriage equality. Similarly, I’ve had Catholic friends whose views on gays and gay marriage are totally at odds with the Vatican’s (and they’re not isolated exceptions—more than half of US Catholics support the legalization of same-sex marriage).

There is a difference between being a part of an organized religion and holding all of the same beliefs—particularly social and political beliefs. There is also a difference between holding a belief and being a vocal commentator on the subject. Now, if you do hold a belief (such as a stance regarding marriage equality) and use whatever status or spotlight that you acquire to speak on it, do not be surprised if your views impact your financial ventures.

Personally, I’d rather watch five of my dollars burn than give a business like Chick-fil-A one red cent. That’s my right and my choice. I no longer purchase anything from Papa John’s or Domino’s because of their oppositions to Obamacare (narrowing all of my non-grocery store pizza purchases to Pizza Hut). I do not give money to the Boy Scouts and I will not make any purchase that might lead to Orson Scott Card making a profit.

While OSC has always been wrong, morally, on the issue of gay rights, the tide of public opinion in the US is now turning against him. A DC Comics project shelved because his involvement was too controversial. Enders Game is getting a theatrical release, but some of the film’s producers do not want OSC involved in the film’s promotion, concerned that his involvement would be the touch of death to ticket sales.

I know that, no matter how much I loved the novel a decade and a half ago, I will certainly not be seeing the film—until it becomes available for me to view, for free.

Thank you, DC Comics, for putting your OSC project on hold. Let’s keep it that way. I have no doubt that Superman would approve.



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