Aw, SCOTUS, for ME? You SHOULD have.

Seeing a lot of this on your social media networks today? The Human Rights Campaign created it as an alternative to their usual blue and yellow equality logo for people to show support of marriage equality. Because today, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in Hollingsworth v Perry, a case having to do with the legality–or its lack–in California’s Proposition 8. Tomorrow, the Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

It’s no secret I’m a proponent of marriage equality. To me, it’s a simple matter of civil rights that has nothing to do with religion or social custom, as first, our government is not a theocracy, and no individual or law can compel a religious institution to conduct a wedding ceremony, and second, social custom does not always reflect what is right or fair. Further, the religious and legal (or state, or federal, call it what you will) entities called “marriage” are not the same thing. I believe the beauty of the system we live under is that we protect people’s rights to worship as they choose, and in return, we do not live under a church-sanctioned government, nor can or should a particular religious or social entity infringe on an individual citizen’s freedom to enjoy the same rights and privileges as all other citizens.

But what to me is a no-brainer is to others a hot-button issue, so we have arrived at the Supreme Court hoping for clarity in the law.

The Supreme Court won’t be tallying how many pink and red equality logos are showing up on Twitter and Facebook. This is not “American Idol”; nobody gets to flood the judges with phone calls or texts to influence their votes. Why then, will so many of us share this symbol online and maybe even on our cars and in our businesses? The best reason is summed up in what I read on Cousin Ron’s FB page today: “Nice to see so much red on my wall. I have good friends.”

We display it to show that we support the equal rights of our friends and neighbors. We want them to be treated with legal justice and civil fairness. We value them and their relationships, and if marriage is what they choose for those relationships, we want them to marry.

I love that the Supreme Court began hearing these arguments on my birthday. Their ruling will likely not come until June. Tom’s and my twenty-fifth wedding anniversary is on June 18, and I can think of no greater gift or way to celebrate than for the Supreme Court to say all those I love, and those they love, have relationships that are equally respected under our laws.

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27 Responses to Aw, SCOTUS, for ME? You SHOULD have.

  1. Robert Edler says:

    Well, said! Though I think the Supremes will decide not to decide on Prop 8, and let the lower court ruling stand that will allow gay marriage in California without affecting the rest of the country. On DOMA it will be a five to four decision, and who knows how that fifth judge is going to vote.
    But the most important issue of the day is HAPPY 35TH BIRTHDAY!

    • Becky says:

      Thank you!

      No matter how it plays out, the tide has turned and the majority of the country thinks this should be a non-issue. DOMA has to go for sure, though.

      • Robert Edler says:

        “A majority of the justices on Wednesday questioned the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, as the Supreme Court took up the volatile issue of same-sex marriage for a second day.” At least some hope on how the fifth judge might vote. NY Times’ headline.

  2. Rhonda says:

    First, let me say happy birthday Becky.

    Secondly, our generation has seen positive changes within our society that I feel privileged to have witnessed. The racial divide, though not 100%, has changed – we both saw the horrors in the rural south, has come a very long way in a positive direction.

    Next in line was interracial dating and marriage, which no one seemed to agree with, is now common and another step in the right direction.

    So, before I leave this earth my hopes and dreams are to see equality for gay marriage. We need love in our world along with compassion. Why do we turn something so beautiful into an “ugly secret”?

    My love and support goes out to everyone who wants equality, marriage and just to be left alone to live in peace.

    • Becky says:

      Thanks Rhonda; well said. When I think of how attitudes have shifted in the last twenty years, it makes me feel so much hope. It’s a tribute to all those who began making their lives visible so we could see the truth instead of falling for the lies.

      I remember once being told, “Denying gays the right to marry doesn’t change YOUR life one little bit.” But even if it doesn’t affect people I know directly–and it does–it still perpetuates an imbalance wherein some people are marginalized, denied what the rest of us take for granted, and even demonized for who they love. What reasonable person wouldn’t want a better society than that?

      And thanks for the birthday wishes!

      • Rhonda says:

        About 2 years ago Ellen DeGenerese and Wanda Sykes talked openly about their wives on Ellen’s TV show. As I watched I felt that I was seeing history in the making and chills ran up my spine. I wondered if others realized what an important moment in history that episode was?

        • Becky says:

          That’s how I felt the night in November 2008 when we were watching Jon Stewart and he said Barack Obama had just been elected president. To have grown up where we did, seeing and hearing the things we saw, that a black man with a “funny” name could be elected president–all politics aside, that was probably one of the most dramatic and powerful moments of my life. It’s a moment I desperately wished my parents, who loved history and this country so much, could have been alive to see.

      • Marika says:

        I think that in a world where people are always coming up with new and horrible things to do to each other, we should always celebrate love. And the more examples of love that we see – whether it is romantic love, platonic love, parental love … whatever … it reminds us of the wonderful things that people are capable of, and that affects us all …love should always be honored and celebrated! Who was it that said All you need is love ?

  3. Marika says:

    Something else i would say, and please know i am not trying to offend married people here … BUT as a real life example, I got married very young, after dating my husband for four months, we walked into a courthouse in Illinois, filled out some papers and got married by a judge – it took an hour. I cried at the ceremony, because I knew I had just made a mistake … neither I nor my husband were ready for that commitment. When my divorce was finalized … not only was I not in the courtroom, but my husband brought over another woman from Germany – and their two year old baby.

    If we are going to defend marriage maybe there are a few other issues we need to look at.

    PS … don’t get me wrong, my divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me.

    • Becky says:

      When straight people have turned marriage into a sham for TV ratings, perhaps it’s time to give people with a real hunger for the institution an opportunity to do it better.

  4. ablueskyboy says:

    Awesomeness :) And, Happy Birthday!

    As for part 2, this could easily fall apart, and that scares me. Now that DC and MD both have marriage equality laws, I was hoping Virginia would grow up. But we’re talking about a closed-minded “state” that used to banish citizens if they married from different races. One can only hope that if these Supreme Court cases triumph over the DOMA and proposition 8 tyranny, Virginia, the state whose flag stands on the face of tyranny, just might stop being such an unhappy place. And, what a miracle it would be: the bible belt finally loves thy neighbor instead of looking for excuses to hate thy stranger. Imagine.

  5. David P says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  6. Rhonda says:

    No offense, Becky, I am just using your blog for my soap box. But I would love to see the designation of the marriage between a man and woman called “straight” eliminated because it infers goody to us and bad to any other union. I want to eliminate the categories we place people in, no more straight, gay or lesbian, simply partners, lovers, spouses. Thank you, Becky, for writing about this topic.

    • Becky says:

      Thanks for your comment. I try always to use the term “marriage equality” because to me that’s the focus: equality. Gender, race, nationality, belief system, orientation–none of these make any of us inherently superior or inferior or more or less deserving of equal rights.

      And you can use my comments for your soap box any old time. When we live in red states, sometimes it can be maddening to hear all around us chatter that varies so much from what we believe. You’ve got a safe place here!

    • Becky says:

      Plus–does it ever boggle your mind that the people from our little town/school who were so wild and liberal-minded became so rigid and conservative as we all got older? I’m not being judgy, just more curious about how our life experiences either make us more deeply the people we were or more unlike the people we were.

  7. Rhonda says:

    You know we both came from military families where our parents lived on military bases that were interracial at the time. Maybe this foundation of early acceptance of other races and cultures easily transferred into the beliefs we have in equality for marriage.

    But, yes, I have noticed the changes in the liberal youth of our school days. I’m proud that I can stand up for everyone. We are all people with the same dreams, hopes and a desire to just be loved.

  8. dc says:

    rightly said, sis!

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