So You’re Gay in A State with a Marriage Ban: Why Today Matters To You, Too

(from Huffington Post)

(from Huffington Post)

Today’s historic Supreme Court actions have been lauded and celebrated by a majority of Americans from city halls to public squares to social media.  Now pause to soak that in; a MAJORITY of Americans are in support of same-sex marriage.  A year ago?  Five years ago?  No, and not even close.

But while the highest court essentially neutered the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), there’s a palpable sense of “what about us?” from gays and lesbians in states with current (and still legal, even after today) same-sex marriage bans.  Allow me to explain how today’s legal revelation WILL – factually WILL – affect your right to marry, and fairly soon.

General Grey (actor Robert Loggia)

General Grey (actor Robert Loggia)

Remember in the 1996 blockbuster film “Independence Day” when Will Smith’s and Jeff Goldblum’s characters planted a computer virus in the aliens’ inter-ship network?  It allowed mere human aircraft and weaponry to inflict damage on those massive hovering alien ships, giving Earth’s inhabitants the ability to take ’em down?  Once the ship over Los Angeles was taken out, General Grey (actor Robert Loggia) said:

“Let’s get on the wire.  Tell every squadron around the world how to shoot those f*ckers down.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy basically did that today; from Mother Jones:

“DOMA instructs all federal officials, and indeed all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others,” the decision says, going on to conclude that the federal statute “is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.”

DOMA, writes Kennedy, was always about interfering with “the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, a dignity conferred by the States in the exercise of their sovereign power” and was “more than an incident effect of the federal statue. It was its essence.”

Justice Kennedy just signaled to us all, that if an individual state’s same-sex marriage ban were to be fought, and made it’s way to the Supreme Court, that state’s ban would fall, because, like DOMA, a state marriage ban would be a (Kennedy’s words) “deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.”

That’s the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, folks.  Last I checked, no state can enact allow that supersedes the U.S. Constitution.

“Let’s get on the wire.  Tell every squadron around the world how to shoot those f*ckers down.”

Fire when ready; and fire at will.


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