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Scoot Blog - Supreme Court ruling: Get over the rainbow

Will today’s landmark Supreme Court rulings on the issue of same-sex marriage destroy American society or lead society past one more area of discrimination? 

Today’s two High Court rulings on cases involving same-sex marriage have ignited both celebrations and dire predictions.  The national argument over same-sex marriage has been one of the most passion-laced debates in years with both sides using American principles as the foundation to support their side.

Marriage has, traditionally, been a union between one man and one woman and many use the Bible to maintain that this should be the continuing definition of marriage.  Others point out that America was built on the concept of individual freedoms, saying two consenting adults should have the right to choose who they want to marry.

While today’s rulings are being celebrated by the gay community and Americans who support equal rights for gays and lesbians, the Supreme Court did not specifically rule on the definition of marriage…So, the debate is far from over.

The Court ruled that states and the federal government cannot ban benefits to same-sex couples if couple lives in a state which has legalized same-sex marriage.  However, the ruling does not force states to provide benefits.  

In the other case of Prop 8 in California, the Court left in place a lower court ruling that a majority vote at the polls banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional because the person who brought the challenge was not directly affected by the case.  There could be other states that pass initiatives banning same-sex marriage and that could lead to more challenges, but the Supreme Court will not likely hear those cases (at least for quite some time) now that a ruling has been rendered.

The debate over same-sex marriage has been an important issue to me for over a decade because it is an issue that defines who we are as a nation today.  Freedoms and individual rights are not unconditional.  There are still many Americans who want to tell others how to lead their private lives. Then, there are those Americans, primarily under 45 years old, who support the individual decisions of consenting adults – even in the case of gay marriage.

Those who are quick to criticize my opinion on this issue will also have to be critical of many Republicans, including former VP Dick Cheney and Senator Rob Portman, who both recently ‘came out’ in support of gay marriage.  It is surprising to me that so many conservatives oppose gay marriage, and even gay sex, when one of the most basic aspects of ‘conservative ideology’ is recognizing the rights of individuals to make decisions free from government interference.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Lawrence v. Texas should have provided a clue as to how the Court views the rights of individuals.  That case was a challenge to the sodomy law in Texas, a ruling which stated that a ban on sodomy in the privacy of one’s home is unconstitutional.

I also wonder if those who support a government ban on same-sex marriage realize that they are asking the government to be involved in passing laws based on religious beliefs.  Asking the government to rule from a moral pulpit is setting a dangerous precedent.  As long as what individuals do in the privacy of their lives does not harm other individuals, then the government should not be involved.

When Disco Queen Donna Summer passed away, I wrote in a blog for WWL.com about how my wife and I would go to the gay clubs on Bourbon Street and dance to the newest disco music and we never felt judged by others – “The generation that casually went dancing in gay clubs in the Quarter without fear of being criticized for their selection of a place to have fun is the very generation that is highly critical, even suspicious, of straight people who go to gay clubs today. What changed?...In many ways, I guess I’m still the same person I was in the mid-70s when disco became an American dance craze. I still go to gay bars with some of my good friends and we are ALL straight. We haven’t changed – have you?”

Most estimates put the percentage of gays in America at just under 4%.  Even if every gay person in America were to marry, I can’t see how that would adversely affect our society.  And if you are concerned about the institution of marriage – heterosexuals have already done a pretty good job of destroying marriage as a lasting institution.
For those who oppose marriage on morality grounds, no one will change your mind…but also consider that you do not condemn many heterosexual friends who also commit similar “sins” of a sexual nature.

As a straight man, I have nothing to personally gain from the acceptance of gay marriage – other than the satisfaction of living in a nation that treats everyone equally.

By the way, in 2003, I wrote a book titled “Get Over the Rainbow” under the name of Scott Redmond.  The book supported gay rights from the standpoint of a straight person. (“Get Over the Rainbow" is still available at Amazon.com, where it is currently ranked as the 4,637,130th- best-selling book of all time!)    






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Topics : PoliticsSocial Issues
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Locations : CaliforniaTexas
People : Dick CheneyDonna SummerRob PortmanScott Redmond




 
06/26/2013 12:57PM
Scoot Blog - Supreme Court ruling: Get over the rainbow
Please Enter Your Comments Below
06/26/2013 1:44PM
Finish strong
Today's ruling was a step in the right direction. A step away from hatred and bigotry. A step toward love and acceptance. Now it's time to finish the job swiftly. Anyone who doesn't think this is a matter of civil rights has allowed themselves to be diluted. Everyone has a right given by the constitution to expect equal treatment and protection under the law. 50 years from now we will look at the people who object to gay rights the same way we looked at people who opposed the civil rights movement in the 60's.
06/28/2013 1:35PM
Finish stronger???
Fifty years from now there will be no family structure, just assorted people living with assorted people, and mostly single parent homes, if that. Without moral or spiritual guidance for young people from a family, with no sense of caring received so no sense of caring given, no wiser persons there to share their knowledge gleaned from life experiences, no sense of belonging to something greater than their own ego, no family to help, or shelter, or protect, or encourage, no close group to contribute to or benefit from, then the quality of lives and the respect for lives will degrade even faster than it is currently.
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