An Unexpected Reaction

I had very little doubt that the Court would rule in favor of marriage equality; I was more nervous about the politics of the Obamacare ruling. (I say the politics, because the legal case was so flimsy a non-political court would never have accepted the case).

Every constitutional scholar who had weighed in on the marriage case anticipated yesterday’s result. It wasn’t just compelled by (recent) precedents, but by those “facts on the ground” that even isolated Justices cannot avoid taking into account–with 70% of Americans living in states with marriage equality, a contrary ruling would have invited chaos.

And yet I really wasn’t prepared for the emotions I felt as I read Facebook posts and emails from so many friends and relatives, listened to the powerful speech by President Obama, saw major companies add rainbows to their ads …and just let it sink in. Like many others, I teared up a lot.

I probably can’t fully understand the emotions of my LGBT friends and family members, although I share their elation. But what I really don’t understand are the mean-spirited, vicious homophobes who went crazy (okay, crazier) when the decision was handed down.

I understand principled disagreement. I understand (okay, maybe not) adherence to rigid religious beliefs that label other people (it’s always other people) sinners. But the venom, the threats of civil disobedience, the seething hatred….the Bobby Jindals, the Mike Huckabees, the “Christian” pastors refusing to obey the rule of law, all spewing raw animus–that, I find incomprehensible.

There are lots of ways to “slice and dice” humanity. I would suggest that the last couple of weeks have shown us two very basic kinds of people: those who hate and those who don’t. Those who gun down innocent people in a church because their skin is a different color (and those who support them by setting fire to other black churches, by donating via kickstarter to their legal defense, or defiantly waving their own Confederate flags)–and decent human beings who are able to see themselves as part of a wider community that includes the “other.”

I don’t think I’m overstating the case when I say that America is engaged right now in an existential conflict between those decent human beings and the small-minded, self-serving and morally deformed forces waging an increasingly frantic war on the poor, on women, on African-Americans, on gays…on all of us who refuse to recognize their right to continued privilege.

Yesterday was a glorious repudiation of those people. But we still have a lot of work to do.


  1. Indeed a lot of work yet but I’m happy for the decision. Thrilled actually. I cried when I read the good news. Cried like a baby for my fellow citizens that are no longer second class citizens anymore. Very very happy tears of joy.

  2. “I had very little doubt that the Court would rule in favor of marriage equality;”

    But I notice you didn’t pen any legal rationale that would allow them to arrive at the ruling in a credible manner.

    You simply knew that liberals are dishonest and unscrupulous and will do whatever they want to get their desired result. The opinion is a laughingstock, and we have members of the Supreme Court openly telling the country that government by five lawyers is not what the Founding Fathers intended.

    Yesterday marked a very dark episode in legal history, and it has severely weakened the Union. Judicial review has always been a sham, and this fraud of the Court being a superlegislature is at risk of having run its course.

    For folks like the Texas National Movement, yesterday was a godsend.

  3. Gopper, it isn’t “government by five lawyers, it’s “law by the majority”.

  4. So a ruling that the issue be left to the democratic process in each state to be sorted out by representatives elected by the people, is to “invite chaos?” Why? The issue was being decided. State legislative bodies, moved by changing opinion on the issue, had started to legalize same sex marriage. Why not just let the process play out instead of unelected judges forcing a certain policy decision on the entire nation under the dubious guise of interpreting the Constitution? We should all decry the sort of activism we saw with the court this week because it undermined democratic institutions. Unfortunately there are many elitists out there who look down on legislative bodies and are perfectly fine with unelected judges usurping the democratic process.

  5. Liberals are accepting of people as God made them or; in the case of Atheists, as they evolved. We accept them even when we disagree with them; this is evidenced by the consistently posted comments by Gopper appearing on this blog.

    The Constitution and Amendments do not cover sexual preference or choice of mates; this country began with virtual escapees from many countries seeking to get away from religious persecution and/or enforced religious beliefs. Per the 1st Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;…” The “free exercise thereof” includes the option of not following any religious beliefs if that is their choice. Included in the 1st Amendment; “…and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Well; we have seen amazing results this week of two “petitions to the Government for a redress of grievances”.

    These are battles we have won; the wars aren’t over yet, they may never be. The fools who are threatening to divorce their wives or immolate themselves because of marriage equality or leave the country due to acceptance of ACA, have the freedom as American citizens to do either or both or any other self-sacrificial action they wish to choose – just leave the rest of us alone and we won’t interfere with your options.

  6. Thank you Gopper….for so vividly proving Sheila’s point. May you never be so marginalized as to need to invoke equal protection to codify your just place in our society.

  7. Freedom is a wonderful thing. The freedom to be gay or not be gay is exactly the same freedom. The freedom to be Christian or Muslim or Jew or nothing. The freedom to be proud of your own skin. Freedom just can’t be defined in any way that’s not inclusive. If some are not free, none are.

    Gopper got freed yesterday just like the rest of us but his reaction to it is different. Apparently to him it’s more cognitively comforting to have the power to impose.

    America is coming out of a dark age and into a great awakening that is as profound as the birth of our country. The job that started with the Revolution continued by the Civil War and advanced by the world wars has taken another giant step for mankind. Like those steps on the freedom trail this one has been forced into resolution by a rise in darkness. Impending doom.

    But humanity won. Again. We are freed again.

  8. Well Gooper your true nature finally came thru. Your comments have been reduced to name calling. Very good. Some how I’m not suprised

  9. The Right is an up roar about the courts legislating on the fly. This whole issue of same sex marriage need not have went before the Supreme Court and lower courts if the States and their elected Representatives had been willing to recognize the legality of same sex marriage or civil unions.

    I have read some comments from the Right about how important it is now to elect a Republican as President and continue and expand the Republican Majorities in House and Senate. The control of the executive and legislative branches will allow for the selection of “Conservative Judges” to reverse this decision on Gay Marriage and ACA -Obama Care.

    A read a commentary yesterday about the reaction from the Right on the Courts decision on Same Sex Marriage. He likened the continued opposition and plans to over throw the decision to a Japanese Soldier who had been by-passed on a island during WW 2, and 20 years later is still fighting the war.

  10. PKO: Letting the process play out in Indiana would have made same sex marriage illegal. It would still be legal in NY. So one person from a legally married couple in NY accepts a job at Lilly (Lilly has benefits for partners), their marriage is not recognized in IN-no joint tax return, no rights of survivorship, a lot of other issues. Someone is going to pursue that in court and when IN courts rule against them they will appeal and we’re back at SCOTUS.

  11. Paul: Why do you think you have the right to vote on whether you approve of other people’s relationships?

    Remember this: progressive ideas always win in the long run. ALWAYS.

  12. @ Paul re your comment: “Why not just let the process play out instead of unelected judges forcing a certain policy decision on the entire nation under the dubious guise of interpreting the Constitution?”

    The democratic process in the states actually WAS playing out until some extreme religious radicals decided to file a lawsuit because the state decisions were not going their way. Their anger at not beingable to FORCE their opinions on others was more than they could handle. You cannot blame liberals for the creation of this court case.

    @ Gopper: How about you quit hiding behind your made-up name? You find it very easy to viciously condemn Sheila and others on this blog for their opinions that are not based on hate as are your opinions. How about you grow a set and start using your REAL name to post on this blog?

  13. I’m with my LGBT friends all the way. This is a time for celebration!!

    But don’t forget what came after Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s victories. It’ll come again and probably will be more FEROCIOUS and DANGEROUS this time around.

  14. America grew up a little bit more this week! Growing up is often a painful process and not without its problems.

    Gopper got smaller and even less significant during our growing-up process. Eventually, he and others of his ilk should disappear altogether.

  15. Equal protection of our laws – like free speech – is not subject to a popularity contest at the polls. If our constitution is worth the paper on which it is written, the rights noted there belong to EVERYONE regardless of the state in which one resides, regardless of which party is in power, and even if one American’s religious faith is different from our own.

  16. @Ron

    I wish it was true about your statement about progressive ideas always winning. Progressive ideas lost in Nazi Germany. Millions of Germans lost their lives along with millions around the world because progressive ideas failed.

    We’re not exempt. “It can happen here” as Sinclair Lewis wrote many years ago.

  17. After the Supreme Court’s ruling for same-sex marriage, my thoughts immediately went to my late uncle, my “other” dad, the older “brother” I never had, the man who dragged me willingly across Europe several times as his travel companion including one visit into Communist Russia when I was only 19.

    He’d have made a fantastic, very proper father, based upon his telling me in one of the Scandanavian countries to get rid of my chewing gum because it made me look like a ‘fish wife’. He was the man who told me to go back to my hotel room and wash off all the make-up I’d applied with a heavy hand as a college student. He was the man selected by the Fulbright Program to spend one year as a guest lecturer at the University of Jordan in Amman and subsequently was the man who gave me a fantastic book about culture of the Arab world that assisted me in working with and understanding a male student from the Arab world who frankly was giving me much grief as his classroom teacher.

    He was born in the late 1920’s on a large working farm in the South, was the only son who opted for college, the Harvard Graduate School of Design rather than joining the family farm business, and was decidedly gay without ever speaking about it primarily because of the era in which he’d grown up. For some reason only he knew, he felt comfortable inviting me and later my late husband for frequent dinners with Carl, his long-time partner, included. Both my uncle and Carl were Dept Chairs at a major research university in another state, and I’m sad they’re not alive today to learn of the Supreme Court ruling. They both were men worth knowing.

    It was not his style, but if he’d donned a pink feather boa and paraded around Monument Circle, I’d have been there cheering him on.

  18. Great decision/accomplishment!

    But….nine guys who all went to one of two law schools, all took the same classes, read the same textbooks, studied the same laws, etc., consistently vote 5 to 4. Why? Maybe the “Founding Fathers” should have made their intentions for the Supreme Court plainer.

  19. Dear Gopper and Paul,
    Love wins. That means your hate lost.

    As you conservatives are so fond of saying, Get Over It.

  20. Judicial Review was determined during Marbury v Madison. Many of the Founding Fathers were alive and participating in government. The fact that they didn’t legislate or contradict their intention at the time of the ruling was implicit consent of Judicial review. It has been a cornerstone of the Supreme Court. It is, essentially the very reason that the Constitution has stayed a constant and relevant document. By giving the Supreme Court the task of interpreting if a law is Constitutional, not just good or bad, is the essential basis of our judicial system.

  21. The interstate commerce chaos of this reminds me of the free v. slave states… or even the pre Brown v Topeka segregation where moving states meant the “one drop of blood” standard could change your entire racial identification. Sad that it took until 2015 until this equality issue was clearly addressed, but happy that there’s finally an inclusive national standard.

  22. It seems to me conservatism in all of its guises is fundamentally the belief that if I’m not in charge the world will spin out of control. Now that those who hold to that have conclusively proven that the world spins out of control when they are in charge you’d think that even they would be ready to move back towards freedom rather than double down on what’s failed.

  23. Darned judicial activitist court. I thought we got rid of the judicial activists once the conservatives were in the majority. I would make more comments, but I’m too busy finding a lawyer who will divorce me from my wife so I can marry a gay guy.

  24. Am I simply imaging this or do a large number of the male posters on this particular topic have no real relationship with a gay or lesbian person, perhaps as a family member or as a valued professional co-worker?

    All the legalise spouting, the parsing of words, and the arguments that appear to exist simply for the sake of those who’d rather argue with words than deal with realities seems to me nothing more than a very thinly veiled attempt to bolster your law practices, to move the thought of homosexuality into a realm of words via the law, and to make yourselves appear as legal eagles.

    How on earth does the marriage of two men or two women harm us? I cannot think of one way in which I’m harmed. On the other hand, I can think privately of about 100 ways I can be harmed, at least my estate, by my younger son’s marrying a former exotic dancer, fully a female w/out a doubt.

  25. “Dear Gopper and Paul,
    Love wins. That means your hate lost.”

    Yesterday, ISIS threw four homosexuals off the top of a building and posted the executions to Twitter under the hashstag


    Unfortunately for your vapid position, “love” is not a legal theory. If the court is going to rule by sheer force and not be restrained by the law, the social compact is broken, and there is no “consent of the governed.”

  26. Gopper, I’ve decided that you’re simply playing the devil’s advocate on this forum lest it become little more than a mutual admiration society for Ms Kennedy. Human nature tells me that Ms Kennedy enjoys seeing the occasional agreement with her posts; however, she’s also a woman skilled as a lawyer who’s bound to become bored with daily applause for all her posts. Perhaps you and Paul are simply here to keep the conversation and the discussion vibrant, rich, and provocative. If so, thank you for keeping the topics lively.

  27. Incoming Gopper. This is our country, not yours. You had a chance to show how your beliefs work in practice. They failed uniformly. We’re moving on.

  28. Gopper, the world is never fixed and settled it evolves. We leave behind what hasn’t worked in favor of what does.

  29. “the “Christian” pastors refusing to obey the rule of law” Are you implying that “Christian” pastors are now required to perform same-gender marriages?

  30. @Steve: Pay attention here! That issue of Christian pastors has already been addressed…and NO, they are not required to perform same-sex marriages.

  31. @Pete

    “Now that those who hold to that have conclusively proven that the world spins out of control when they are in charge you’d think that even they would be ready to move backwards towards freedom rather than double down on what’s failed.”

    Why should they quit if they feel that they ULTIMATELY have the “trump card”? And they do.

  32. Marv. That there are Americans so ignorant as to grant credibility and relevance to Donald Trump both amazes and discourages me. How can this be?

  33. Every American has the same rights and no religious fanatic un=sing the name of God in their sick manifestation of abuse, hatred and ignorance can change that.

    Please could one of you idiots point to the statement anywhere in the history of Christianity where the Lord, God Almighty ever said one derogatory word about gays or that He hated them especially since HE MADE THEM.

    I’ll be waiting. I know I will have died prior to you locating that statement because it doesn’t exist.

    Only your ignorance and hatred is there, not the word of GOD.

    Realize that hatred will destroy YOU but we are here to make certain it doesn’t destroy this marvelous country.

  34. Pete. Sorry, that’s beyond me. However, my best guess is that Trump’s credibility and relevance has to be based on his money and the power that it can bring. It could only be the WORSHIP
    of $$$$$$. What else does he have? He’s even a lousy golfer.

  35. Definition of lousy (lou’ze) adj. -i-er, -i-est
    l. infested with lice 2. [Slang] a) disgusting b) poor; inferior 3. well supplied (with) lous’i-ness n.

    See Webster’s New World Dictionary and Thesaurus 2nd Edition

  36. @Betty – explain the sentence outside my interpretation of it. I am trying to understand both sides. To say that the decision, “deals with” seems to me a lot premature since the dissenting opinion of the court brings up that very point.

  37. I wasn’t sure how the court would rule. For one, marriage is a state issue, but it is tied in with various federal issues (ie: Taxes). However, if we are now going to rule upon the benefits and rights of individual people, instead of using old religious notions of things, then plural marriage should be allowed. The Indiana Supreme Court should immediately find Indiana’s bigamy statue unconstitutional in light of the supreme court ruling. There is no good reason why multiple adults should be denied the same rights as two adult couples receive. People claim that dealing with polygamy would be “too much.” This is laughable, completely laughable. We have a robust court system in this country, so any issues can easily be handled by that system. Even old school man/woman marriage isn’t easy to deal with, and it has been around for hundreds of years. Our local, state, and federal courts still deal with divorce issue, child custody issues, paternity issues, etc..

    I understand principled disagreement. I understand (okay, maybe not) adherence to rigid religious beliefs that label other people (it’s always other people) sinners. But the venom, the threats of civil disobedience, the seething hatred….the Bobby Jindals, the Mike Huckabees, the “Christian” pastors refusing to obey the rule of law, all spewing raw animus–that, I find incomprehensible.

    Civil disobedience is done by many groups. Do you think Occupy Wall Street was incomprehensible? What about all the other groups who interrupt meetings, spike trees, block access to abortion clinics, etc..? If the civil disobedience is illegal, then people should be arrested. However, if the disobedience is legal, I don’t really see it worthy of the “incomprehensible” label.

    As far as pastors refusing to “obey the rule of law,” what are they claiming they are going to do? My advice to those who claim the country is gone (and I believe it is gone and we are spiraling downward, but not because of two person same sex marriage), they can just either leave, or just not support the country. They can definitely trash their Christian views of sex and marriage, and tell their kids it is OK to have kids out-of-wedlock and demand government support them with various welfare handouts. It is OK for them to fire all their employees and close their businesses if they don’t want to provide services to same sex couples. It is just as OK for them to get unemployment, and when that runs out, live on welfare if they meet the criteria. Yes, it does suck to have your beliefs slowly destroyed, but if you can’t live with them, join them. Sometimes such actions are called “Going Galt.” That is exactly what these people can and should do if they are so angry with where this country is heading. Just because you hate the country doesn’t mean you can be denied taxpayer subsidized housing, food stamps, healthcare, etc.. So they can just go ahead and stop preaching traditional Christian values and principles and raise their kids in a more hedonistic fashion. This is the ultimate end game for what I see as an “anything goes” society.

    Unfortunately, gay marriage has been tied to this slide toward us becoming the United States of Sodom and Gomorrah. Instead of support marriage, which usually, hopefully, involves love, compassion, commitment, some people were scared of the homosexuality part. Others used the homosexuality part to further an even more hedonistic view of how society should be in terms of human sexuality.

Comments are closed.