Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Texas Judge Declares Texas Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Unconstituional

As with many older Americans out there, the progress in furthering GLBT civil rights has been breathtaking to witness. We had to abandon age-old prejudices perhaps faster than many of us were ready for.

I for one would have been caught off-guard and not knowing what side of the fence I should land on except for one central experience. Some years back before I retired from teaching high school, I witnessed the vulnerability of teenage gays and the obvious harm done to them through bullying. I looked these young students in the eye, and the fear and confusion was palpable.

At that precise moment, I had to decide what these young men needed, deserved. The answer was clear: unequivocal support and unreserved honest acceptance. I let them know that I had their back and hoped that they could trust me. If they eyed me with suspicion, I couldn't blame them. When I felt they indeed trusted me, I felt like a better man.

The better men and women of our American society -- the heterosexual ones -- likely took a path similar to mine. And so it is with each state that falls in line with our better natures. Texas has joined in the procession today with U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia's ruling:
“Today’s court decision is not made in defiance of the great people of Texas or the Texas Legislature, but in compliance with the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court precedent,” Garcia wrote in the order. “Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our U.S. Constitution.”
As has become usual, the judge stayed his own judgment pending appeal. But wow, just wow. Watching a civil right being born and growing at breakneck speed is invigorating. That I had to be dragged to the party -- but landed in the right place -- makes is all the more impressive to me. Thank God for my good fortune as a teacher to have learned from my students.

That one line: Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose..." Substitute "human" for "governmental" and you've got it. What legitimate human purpose indeed.

Obama was late, too, but he made it.

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