It’s About Time: My Thoughts on SCOTUS’ Gay Marriage Ruling
This morning, over the span of 5 minutes, my Facebook feed transformed from the usual list of pictures of babies, Buzzfeed quizzes, and a smattering of infotainment stories to a rainbow of color and an overwhelming show of support for SCOTUS’ gay marriage ruling.
About a year ago, when I first started my blog, I wrote this post on gay marriage while sitting on my hotel bed in San Francisco. Seven years before that, I remember writing my college application essay about the Defense of Marriage Act – something that was definitely an unexpected, unpopular, and out-of-left-field topic for a straight 17-year-old Catholic school student. My opinions on the subject haven’t exactly gelled with my Republican voting record, to say the least.
For those who are worried that their religious or personal views are being challenged this morning, consider this: Interracial marriage was only considered fully legal across the 50 states in 1967. Gay marriage is hardly the first time people have had to fight for the right to get married – and I’m sure people huffed and puffed in 1967, too. Now, 48 years later, doesn’t it seem absolutely ludicrous that two people couldn’t get married because of the color of their skin?
I’m guessing the same will be true of today’s ruling, 48 years from now.
I just still can’t understand why Republicans – the proponents of “small government” and more personal freedoms – have the audacity to try to prevent a man from visiting his dying husband in the hospital, or a gay father from having paternal rights in a two-father household. I can hear them now “When does it end? What will we be allowing next, people marrying their dogs?” (Full disclosure: I am a Republican who is deeply disappointed in and embarrassed by the party’s resistance to change on this matter, especially when Republicans are supposed to want LESS government regulations on our private lives. I feel very strongly that they are making a huge mistake by catering to their conservative Christian voters than on their fiscally conservative and nearly-libertarian ones, like me.)
Anyway, when it comes to the actual Constitutionality of gay marriage bans… I’m no expert, but it does seem that gay marriage bans do infringe on an individual’s right to “life, liberty or property.” Since the Fourteenth Amendment was expanded to protect our civil rights, we can definitely and effectively argue that banning marriage between any humans (regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation) infringes on my civil liberties. I mean, if SCOTUS didn’t vote to eliminate gay marriage bans, could we also argue that laws should be passed to prevent Jewish people from marrying Buddhists? It seems like we’d be opening a HUGE can of worms by denying an entire population of this (basic, fundamental) right.
The bottom line is this: What does gender have to do with marriage in 2015, anyway? My husband helps with dinner, he often does the dishes, and he’s not the only one bringing home a paycheck. I’m not planning on being a stay-at-home mom, and he’s not going to get 8 hours of sleep while I’m up feeding our babies.
48 years ago today’s gender roles would have sounded completely ridiculous (and, in many places across the world, they still would). While I want SCOTUS to exercise their massive amount of power carefully, I do want them to ensure that we’re all afforded the opportunity to share our lives with the ones we love. After all, if that isn’t covered under “equal protection,” I don’t know what is.