Words cannot describe how thrilled I am to have gotten the news yesterday that the Supreme Court of the United States declared the Defense of Marriage Act + Proposition 8 unconstitutional!!!
As a child in Greenwich Village, I grew up surrounded by loving people of all sexual orientations, races, religions + creeds. I marched in Gay Pride Parades with my parents + Judson Memorial Church probably before I could walk!
Indeed, some of the most enduring relationships that I have seen have been same-sex couples. I am elated that the United States government is finally catching up with what I’ve known all my life: that sexual orientation is not grounds for inequality.
However, as elated as I am about this ruling, the rage I feel over the ruling that came just the day before, which effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act, has not eased. It reinforces what I’ve observed for a long time: that many in the United States believe that institutionalized racism is no longer an issue in our country.
While I understand that the formula for deciding which states with a history of racial discrimination need federal approval to change voting regulations might be outdated, to nullify such a measure at a time when the United States Congress can barely even get moderate bills passed through is a blatantly racist, ultra-Conservative abuse of power.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissent, “Throwing out preclearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.” Yep, pretty much.
In New Yorker article, “The Court Rejects Voting Rights Act–And History,” Amy Davidson writes, “Eight months after a Presidential election that saw bitter fights over voter suppression, it is highly odd for the Court to be calling such concerns quaint.”
John Cassidy, also of New Yorker, posted another great article on the Court’s recent decisions, “What the G.O.P. Can Learn from DOMA and the Roberts Court.”
I’m not trying to get too Debbie-Downer, but it is important for all of us to realize that discrimination + inequality will not end with this victory. We must not stop the fight against discrimination + inequality until it is truly, truly over for everyone. + on that note….
Happy DOMA death + Pride, friends!!!
Let us continue to spread love + teach those who don’t quite understand yet that differences in sexual orientation, race, nationality, religion + creed are one of the most important things that one can encounter because they allow for learning.
I’ma end this one with the theme song for one of my AIDS/LifeCycle rides. + I ask you to seriously consider this:
What have you done today to make you feel proud?