Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

equal rights

Another win by John E. Jones III

Equal RightsJudge John E. Jones III ruled today that the Pennsylvania ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. Judge Jones is the same judge that ruled in the Kitzmiller vs. Dover case in 2005, scoring a big point for science standards, shutting down the attempt to push "Intelligent Design" into the Dover School District’s science curriculum.

This time, instead of protecting science, Judge Jones protected equal rights, saying of the Pennsylvania ban on same-sex marriages, "We are a better people than what these laws represent. It is time to discard them into the ash heap of history."

Governor Tom Corbett can appeal the ruling (and probably will), but it’s doubtful that will accomplish anything other than rallying the backward-minded members of his political base and wasting time and money.

What Gov. Corbett should do, however, is leave well enough alone. Pennsylvania is (was?) the last northeastern state to disallow same-sex marriages. It’s sad and embarrassing. It’s well past time for Pennsylvania to leave the bigotry behind and stand up for equal rights. As Judge Jones stated, the term "same-sex marriage" will be abandoned in favor of "marriage" someday.

Let’s make that day today.

Oppose Marriage Equality!!! *

While I try to avoid using sarcasm in anything serious that I write, this (which I first saw on Facebook… I didn’t write it) is an appropriate use. Ha!

10 Reasons To Oppose Marriage Equality

I’ve heard equality-opponents make arguments against some of these points and it’s always amusing to watch a bigot try to justify their beliefs.

“Homosexual behavior is a choice!” (#2)

“Studies show that children do better with a mother and a father!” (#9)

“What about polygamy!?” (#3)

…and of course…

(insert any number of bible quotes here) (#1 – #10)

* title meant as sarcasm

Overall…

Overall… not a bad day for domestic human rights.

I’m a little disgusted about the 5-4 split on DOMA, though. It should have been 9-0. Evidently, almost half our Supreme Court judges aren’t in favor of equal rights, hiding behind an argument of “Oh no! People will argue about this!” (which pretty much summarizes Justice Scalia’s dissent)

Scalia said:

By formally declaring anyone opposed to same-sex marriage an enemy of human decency, the majority arms well every challenger to a state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition.

I like the “formally declaring” bit… which implies (accurately, IMHO) that opponents of same-sex marriage were already enemies of human decency, but simply had yet to be “formally” declared as such. But now that the formal declaration has been made (according to Scalia), it’ll be open season on state laws restricting marriage to its “traditional definition” (ie…¬†.. restrictions based on nothing but misguided religious ideology).

…and that is a good thing.

Hooray for New York!

New York finally passed legislation to allow same-sex marriage in their state. According to CNN (and other news sites), the vote was 33-29 in favor. It was the “first time a state Senate with a Republican majority has approved such a bill.”

Other than the awesome news that gay couples will now have the same rights as straight couples, that also means that there are still 29 people in the New York senate that are probably theocratic bigots.

Says the CNN article…

The new law, which will allow same-sex couples in New York to marry within 30 days, drew a sharp rebuke from opponents, who spent millions to try to defeat the measure.

Because, you know… those damn gays!

But the Catholic Church stepped up in support! Oh wait. No they didn’t.

“We worry that both marriage and the family will be undermined by this tragic presumption of government in passing this legislation that attempts to redefine these cornerstones of civilization,” the state’s Catholic bishops said in a joint statement released late Friday. It was signed by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan and seven other bishops.

It’s an absurd argument. Marriage isn’t undermined by omg-teh-gheys!!!. It’s undermined (if it is at all) by drunken Vegas weddings, marriages of convenience, sex scandals and infidelity, hypocrisy, televised¬†marriage contests, marrying for money, serial marrying, arranged marriages, and a myriad of other things, none of which have anything to do with two people of the same sex loving each other.

And to show how loving and considerate the opponents of same-sex marriage are…

Opponents of the marriage equality law have vowed to take political action against any Republican who voted for the bill.

Because presumably, standing up for equal rights is just wrong and should be punished!

Fortunately, there were enough rational politicians to get this measure passed. It’s sad that it needs to be passed at all. You’d think in a country that prides itself on freedom and human rights, this would be a complete non-issue, but the religious right can’t help but try to impose their twisted moral values on the rest of us.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gets it, though.

“In recent weeks, I have had many conversations with our state Senators. I emphasized that not only is marriage equality consistent with bedrock American principles, but it is also consistent with bedrock Republican Party principles of liberty and freedom — and the Republicans who stood up today for those principles will long be remembered for their courage, foresight, and wisdom. In fact, 10 or 20 or 30 years from now, I believe they will look back at this vote as one of their finest, proudest moments,” Bloomberg said in a statement released shortly after the vote.

So three cheers for New York. Kudos to those Republicans who had the wisdom and courage to stand up to their party’s archaic stance on the matter.

And congratulations to all those who are waiting to be married and now are able.