Tag Archives: marriage equality

52 Photos: Celebration

To be honest, I thought I had missed the deadline for the celebration prompt. I just wasn’t feeling it, as my friend Rebecca said so beautifully. But seeing her post gave me the tiniest glimmer that I might have a picture somewhere in my vast archive that captured a celebration. And then I found this treasure:

yippee - Catholic for Marriage Equality

Yippee! A Catholic for marriage equality!

This picture was taken almost a year ago, but the moment it was celebrating was the triumph at the polls on election night. For the first time, marriage equality measures were passed IN THREE STATES. BY A POPULAR VOTE. I like the symmetry, because today is election day. And the legislature in Illinois just passed a marriage equality bill. And Hawaii is on the cusp of passing marriage equality in their state as well.

Even though there is still so much work to be done, we can pause and celebrate our victories, too. There are now 15 states that recognize the legality of same-sex couples’ love. Before the election last year, I think there were 10? Plus the District of Columbia. So here’s to love!

Love wins!
love wins with roses

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52 Photos Project – At the end of the day

I should first admit that I heard this phrase waaaay too much when I worked in corporate America, to the point where it felt like a cheese grater against my last nerve every time I heard it. I still have that reaction to it, so I wasn’t super excited about the prompt this week. And then I went to a wedding on Saturday that changed my mind.

My friends E & G got married on their 15th anniversary, 10 months after marriage equality arrived in Washington State and a mere three months after the Supreme Court overturned DOMA.

Bride wore diamonds on her shoes

We first met E & G through dance, and we loved to watch them, because their connection and adoration for each other shone on the floor, through every spin and turn as the music played. So it was only fitting that E bedazzle her dance boots to wear for their wedding. At the end of the day, what really matters is love. And this couple has that in spades.

Bride wore diamonds on her shoes

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Prop 8, DOMA and SCOTUS

my 43 year marriage is not threatened by equality

As you are all probably aware, the Supreme Court is going to hear oral arguments for Prop 8 (Hollingsworth v. Perry) on Tuesday and DOMA (United States v. Windsor) on Wednesday, Apparently people are already lining up for tickets. The NY Times made a super helpful infographic to understand the possible decisions. And Scott Fujita, another NFL player for marriage equality, wrote a great op-ed on acceptance. The SCOTUS Blog has tons of entries to help you understand these two cases. They are going to release same-day audio of the oral arguments, since there is so much interest in these two cases. There is going to be a noon rally in front of the Federal Courthouse on Wednesday, to show support and solidarity for marriage equality.

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Lawrence V. Texas

an unjust law is itself a species of violence

At the urging of a friend, I read the Kennedy decision on Lawrence V. Texas today. This is the decision that overturned the laws making sodomy illegal in 2003. First, it is very readable. There are a few portions that are more technical, but for the most part, it really attempts to speak in plain and respectful language. I wanted to point out the sections that jumped out to me, and honestly, give me a lot of hope for the upcoming Prop 8 and DOMA cases that will be heard this spring. Emphases are all mine.

Kennedy begins by reviewing an earlier case, which upheld the illegality of consenting adults engaging in homosexual acts:

To say that the issue in Bowers was simply the right to engage in certain sexual conduct demeans the claim the individual put forward, just as it would demean a married couple were it to be said marriage is simply about the right to have sexual intercourse. The laws involved in Bowers and here are, to be sure, statutes that purport to do no more than prohibit a particular sexual act. Their penalties and purposes, though, have more far-reaching consequences, touching upon the most private human conduct, sexual behavior, and in the most private of places, the home. The statutes do seek to control a personal relationship that, whether or not entitled to formal recognition in the law, is within the liberty of persons to choose without being punished as criminals.

The decision goes on to quote from Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pa. v. Casey in addressing the issue of liberty:

“These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.” Ibid.

He then refers to Romer v. Evans on equal protection:

Romer invalidated an amendment to Colorado’s constitution which named as a solitary class persons who were homosexuals, lesbians, or bisexual either by “orientation, conduct, practices or relationships,” id., at 624 (internal quotation marks omitted), and deprived them of protection under state antidiscrimination laws. We concluded that the provision was “born of animosity toward the class of persons affected” and further that it had no rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose. Id., at 634.

He goes on to address the case specifically:

When homosexual conduct is made criminal by the law of the State, that declaration in and of itself is an invitation to subject homosexual persons to discrimination both in the public and in the private spheres. The central holding of Bowers has been brought in question by this case, and it should be addressed. Its continuance as precedent demeans the lives of homosexual persons.

He then concludes:

The case does involve two adults who, with full and mutual consent from each other, engaged in sexual practices common to a homosexual lifestyle. The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives. The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. “It is a promise of the Constitution that there is a realm of personal liberty which the government may not enter.” Casey, supra, at 847. The Texas statute furthers no legitimate state interest which can justify its intrusion into the personal and private life of the individual.

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