Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Court of Reason

A long awaited decision came down today in Federal District Court in San Francisco when a federal judge ruled California’s Prop. 8 banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional. That’s right, unconstitutional against the U.S. Constitution, not just the state constitution.

The decision by federal Judge Vaughn Walker gives hope to gay men and women everywhere. In the struggle to fight discrimination in the circles of marriage rights, the LGBT community has had to rely on the reasoned minds of the judiciary to recognize the blatant discrimination forced upon the citizenry by the so-called majority.

I’m proud to live in a country that has these checks-and-balances, so we’re not always succumbing to the mob mentality of “majority rules.” When it comes to rights, the foundation of the United States, it shouldn’t be left to the passing fancy of the loudest people around.

During the trial, Judge Walker asked reasoned questions, from both perspectives, to get to the heart of the matter. And in the end, he couldn’t see any legal arguments to make an exception of the Constitution’s equal protection clause to allow men and women to marry, but not allow same-sex couples to do the same. The judge noted that allowing such a law on the books somehow implied that heterosexual couples were somehow more entitled than same-sex couples. Today, at least, we’re all the same.

Of course, this is just the first step. In fact, the judge ruled that Prop. 8 should not be enforced, but then put a stay on his ruling to allow the issue to be appeals. But this case puts the issue on track to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. And decisions by the highest court of the nation often put an end to all the fighting. I look forward to that day, even though I confess I’m a bit nervous given the conservative tendencies of a court built over several years of a Republican president. In the end, I just hope the Supreme Court justices rely on reason and not emotions. Just like how Judge Walker did today.

Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Buenos Aires is a Great Place for a Honeymoon

Today Argentina joined the ranks of the progressive countries who believe in civil rights. The country's senate today voted to approve same-sex marriages, being the first Latin American country to do so. (Mexico City recognizes gay marriages, but that's just a city. We're talking about an entire nation here.)

I visited Buenos Aires a few years ago, mostly because it was welcoming of gays. Today's action just confirms my affinity to this amazing city, and country, and place that despite strong opposition from the Catholic Church, still follows their hearts to do the right thing. Viva Argentina!

Read the LA Times story here.

Photo courtesy Getty Images.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Hell Must Have Frozen Over for Eminem

I’ve never been a fan of Eminem, or very many rappers when I think about it, because of the general hateful language that sometimes come out of the lyrics. Eminem certainly had his days, but like everyone else, as he gets older, he’s getting more mellow.

And in a recent interview with the New York Times, the reporter asked a question about gay marriage, and turns out the new mature, sober, and tolerant Em is all for it. Who would have thunk it?

Here’s the complete exchange:

NYT: “You’ve been accused of writing gay-bashing lyrics in the past. Would you like to see gay marriage approved in Michigan, where you live?”

Eminem: “I think if two people love each other, then what the hell? I think that everyone should have the chance to be equally miserable, if they want.”

Wow, I thought I’d never see the day. But as Eminem shows, society can change. Maybe there’s hope for all of us to be miserable together one day.

Photo courtesy of the New York Times website.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Rights in the Nation's Capital

I know it's been awhile since I've posted, but there really hasn't been much good news. But I did want to drop a short update to acknowledge the profound effects of this day, when our nation's capital, the District of Columbia, began issuing same-sex marriage licenses to its residents.

Because D.C. is not a state, the local legislation allowing these marriages had to be approved by Congress. The fact that same-sex supporters were able to stave off any Congressional vetoes, likely given most politicians' inability to stand up for justice and civil rights, is a major milestone.

So even though other parts of the country continues to be conservative and restrictive toward others' rights, it's nice to know that in this country's seat of politics and justice that at least that community can experience true freedoms.