Gay marriage and the queers in black robes

Gay marriage and the queers in black robes

Gay marriage was a hot topic at the Supreme Court last month with oral arguments presented by both sides.  If you've asked yourself why there are ANY sides to the idea of two people getting married, you may not be alone.

Isn't it enough that a couple has to hold their breath when the officiant asks if anyone objects to their getting married?

I was down in Wrigleyville a couple weeks ago, having a pop with my long-time friend, Ron and was fascinated listening to him describe the intricacies of his job.

Ron works with very delicate instruments in an environment so sensitive to contamination that much of his work is done wearing a Tyvek suit, inside a clean room.

tyvek

While I normally don't feel it necessary to mention anyone's sexual preference, it's relevant here to point out that Ron is straight as an arrow.  I went to UIC  with his older brother and we had an up-close-and-personal view of Ron's shenanigans.

Suffice it to say that as a long-haired musician, Ron did quite well with the ladies.  He's still a damn good drummer.

When the conversation turned political (doesn't it always?), Ron said he didn't really follow politics, but suspected that I was a Republican.   Clearly, he doesn't follow politics.  Or this blog.

The fact that Ron is straight and not into politics makes his comments that night seem without guile or agenda.  He has no dog in the fight looming over the Supreme Court's upcoming decree on gay marriage, so his comments and questions come from a place of pure reason and common sense.

Quoting Ron as closely as I can, he said, "Here's what I don't understand.  Why are they even discussing this?  Why should anyone care who gets married and what right do they have to tell anyone they can't get married?"

I don't think that argument will carry the day, but it certainly sums it up for a lot of people.

The case at the heart of SCOTUS's deliberations is Obergefell v. Hodges and it focuses on what, if any mandates are imposed on states by the 14th Amendment  to the Constitution.  The main issues are:

1) Does the 14th Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
2) Does the Fourteenth Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state?

The Court is slated to reveal who gets to marry whom sometime next month, most likely in a 5-4 decision.  The fact that everything always seems to be decided in a 5-4 decision is, in itself an indication of just how fragile our rights can be.

Sometimes the arguments seem more biblical than constitutional, and that makes me flinch.  Cases like this and Citizens United underscore the coincidence of the biblical-political lines in the judicial sand.

I have to admit here that it seems weird to me when Ellen Degeneres talks about her wife, or when Neil Patrick Harris-Dr. Doogie Howser - talks about his husband.  It's just not what we're used to hearing.

I grew up in the 60's and when men referred to their spouses, said spouse was a wife.  And vice versa.  If I grew up in Salem, MA in 1878, I'd think it was normal to set fire to people who didn't share my religious beliefs.

Back in those days, religious heretics were labeled as witches, tied to a stake and set on fire.  Ripping a page out of that playbook, ISIS just switched out the hot steaks (sic) for cold chops.

If I grew up in the South, though I might have gotten used to people using the "N" word.  The point being, just because you're used to something doesn't make it right.  It certainly doesn't make it right for everyone.

There was a time when interracial couples shocked our senses.  They did mine.  It wasn't that I had a problem with people of different races being together, it just wasn't something I was used to seeing.

I felt the same way about color TV.  But, then I got used to it.

Anyway, back to gay marriage and oral arguments, a juxtaposition of phrases which you may find titillating

We got a glimpse into the case against gay marriage and  it wasn't pretty.   We also got a glimpse of the dark side of some of the GOP's presidential hopefuls and some very bizarre takes on the validity of Supreme Court decisions.

This piece seems to be running away from me, so we're not going to get into what each of the crazy queers in black robes said about gay marriage here.  We'll do that next week in Part II.

One of the main points made by attorneys presenting the case against gay marriage is that the institution should be reserved for those who enter it for the purpose of procreation.

If you're too old to have kids, if you can't have kids or you simply hate kids, do not even apply.

For the Supreme Court justices pondering their verdict on gay marriage (and everything else), I offer the following advice:

Take off your black robes and put on some Tyvek suits.  Then go deliberate in a clean room, where your decisions won't be contaminated by particles of faith.

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