Just in case you were living under a rock or paying attention to what some would say was more pressing news, those in favor of marriage equality won a decisive victory in the Supreme Court ruling on the subject of gay marriage. With a 5-4 vote with Justices Sotomayor, Kagan, Ginsburg, Breyer and Kennedy on the majority side, and Justices Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and Thomas dissenting.
I won’t go into details about how ecstatic I was for this ruling. Those of you who know me know that I am firmly in the camp of marriage equality and LGBTQIA rights. Let’s just say that there was much merriment, congratulations, and smiles aplenty among my friends and I.
Of course, not everyone is in favor of marriage equality. Some, like Chief Justice Roberts, made it plain that they believed that the idea of marriage equality should be left up to states. Others cite religious reasons for their opposition.
I have little experience with the constitutional law, and my knowledge of state responsibilities versus federal responsibilities are also not something that I know a whole lot about. I am embarrassed to say that my expertise in the civics area of my country extends very little past my ninth grade year.
However, I do believe that the Justices of the Supreme Court have a bit more knowledge and experience than I do, I think it is a safe idea to accept their ruling.
And yes, that also is true for those decisions I might disagree with.
But honestly what really puzzles me, and frustrates me about this whole situation is the reaction of religious communities to this ruling.
Not surprisingly, the reactions have been mixed. Some have come out in staunch opposition to the idea of marriage equality while others have started to adjust their practices. Some have even have offered an alternative interpretation of scripture that shows that a support of marriage equality.
But, there are still some who choose to see marriage equality as a bad thing, and have made their opinions known, either by disobeying the law or choosing to resign.
The reaction isn’t that surprising, really. That’s not the puzzling part for me. The part that puzzles me is the amount of reaction.
Many people are convinced- utterly convinced that marriage is a religious thing.
Marriage in the eyes of the law is nothing more than a long-term contract between two adults who have the ability to give and receive informed consent. End of definition.
Whether or not your religion states that it needs to be between certain types of people is for you and your religion. If you and your religion choose not to support marriage equality, that is fine. That is your right.
You also, of course, have the right to face the consequences of your actions that are dictated by that belief. Not surprisingly, choosing to break the law does come with some serious consequences.
- In most states, it is still LEGAL to discriminate against LGBTQIA individuals in housing, employment, and public accommodations.
- Suicide rates and homelessness among LGBTQIA youth are some of the highest in the country.
- Hate crimes against LGBTQIA individuals are still occurring
- Hate crime laws that protect the LGBTQIA are inconsistent or even non-existent across the country.
So until all humans are treated with dignity, respect and love, I will continue to speak out.
© 2015 – 2017, Laura Seeber. All rights reserved.