Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Gay Rights Are Human Rights

I might as well weigh in on this -- so late, I know -- on the day that same-sex marriage is argued at the Supreme Court.

I'm a long-time supporter of gay rights, with the right to marry one of the last stages of "my evolution." I don't really feel bad about having to evolve. In general, who hasn't? Even gays had to evolve on so many of the questions around their sexuality. When is the right time to come out? When is the right time to begin the drive for marriage equality? (Many gays were angered by Gavin Newsom's declaration on gay marriage as being "too soon.") And so on.

I liked this picture I found at Taking Points Memo:

This man (I can't tell exactly where he is, near the mall, in front of the Court) summed it up best: We're going around once, we can't get everything right, but hey, Scalia, give it a shot, at least on this one.

A lot of what we take as important issues -- and gay rights is an important issue, enough to see it as inseparable from human rights -- are mostly tribal affairs. You know, Scalia's tribe, which could be described as Italian Catholic, or just Catholic, is really not as ready for same-sex marriage as my tribe, which is Irish-Catholic-turned-atheist. So what? So goddam what?

That was Atrios of Eschaton's take this morning, and that was "so what?" He was speaking of Rush Limbaugh, as in why does he even need to weigh in on this, what goddam difference does it make, for chrissake?

But that's where the above sign comes in. Same-sex marriage and gay rights do matter, not because it's necessarily any of our goddam business except bigots and holdouts made it our business because, hell, you do only live once.

That's where pride comes in. I get pride. I even got gay pride, even back when I thought it was icky. In fact, it was the pride in their community that got the LGBT marching, and coming out, and being queer, and here, and, hey, get used to it.

I finally did, and, like a fever, it broke. Now that fever is breaking all over the country, maybe not in Antonin Scalia's heart, or Clarence Thomas's, or Samuel Alito's, I don't know, and I can't speak for the rest of the Supremes, but I got a feeling this morning that a fever may have broken even on the Court. Maybe they won't make it a constitutional right, but they won't make it constitutionally acceptable to discriminate against gays, I feel strongly about that. They may split the baby and let the states decide, and with that California joins those who don't discriminate. That's a huge chunk of America, a decent earthquake.

Gavin Newsom did what leaders do, they lead. Well done.

A tiny earthquake rattled Montana this morning as Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) came out for gay marriage. Hell, Tester might not be ready to take on the NRA on guns, but he feels he can and should say as he did this morning:
“Montanans believe in the right to make a good life for their families. How they define a family should be their business and their business alone. I’m proud to support marriage equality because no one should be able to tell a Montanan or any American who they can love and who they can marry.”
Now, that wasn't so hard, was it? For those who cling to their religion and their old beliefs that die hard, maybe it is just too much. Not even a question of too soon. George Will, who for me rarely gets anything right and who seems hopelessly out to lunch on most issues, does understand why the gay issue will blend naturally into the rest of human rights, at least in this country or the West in general.

“There is something like an emerging consensus,” Will said [on ABC], noting voters in three states recently endorsed same-sex marriage initiatives. “Quite literally, the opposition to gay marriage is dying.  It’s old people.”

And the Supremes are old. We'll see if they're old and wise, or just old. For me, the case is already decided. After all, you only live once, and I've got one more thing right. As for the rest of it, we'll see. We're all a work in progress.

Your rights are our rights, your concerns are our concerns. Sorry you had to wait.

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