On Thursday of this week, two landmark decisions were handed down in a federal court in Massachusetts by Judge Joseph L. Tauro. The related cases were brought by Gay & Lesbian Defenders and Advocates (GLAD) and Martha Coakley, State Attorney General, charging that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Judge Tauro, bless him, agreed.
Historically, states are charged with the rights and responsibilities of the legalities of marriage. Massachusetts, bastion of liberality, legalized same-sex marriage in 2003. The cases alleged that DOMA requires Massachusetts to treat some of its citizens as less than equal. George Bernard Shaw: "some people are more equal than others."
Saturday's New York Times had this little precis, written by Brian Stelter, about The Today Show's "Modern Day Wedding Contest":
"NBC will change the application process for the Today Show's 'Modern Day Wedding Contest' so that same-sex couples are permitted to participate, the network said Thursday. The change was announced after a campaign by Glaad, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and a meeting between the organization's representatives and the Today executive producer in New York. 'Our intent was not to be discriminatory or exclusive,' the network said in a statement. Today said it had extended the Friday deadline for wedding applicants by three days so that same-sex couples could apply, and 'moving forward, we ensure that our future wedding contests will be inclusive of all couples.' The contest is a staple of Today, the most popular morning show on television. It allows viewers to vote on every detail of a couple's wedding, which is then broadcast live on the show. Even though same-sex couples will now be allowed to apply, it does not guarantee an appearance. Today producers sort through the applications and pick four finalist couples, and viewers take it from there, voting for which one should actually win the wedding and the all-expenses-paid honeymoon. The ceremony will take place on Today in October."
I congratulate in advance those who get married on The Today Show, and I should like to draw attention to its venerable name: Today. This day. Now. This minute. It's high time that The Today Show represented marriages that signify marriage today and not the marriages statutized in DOMA.
In fact, it's high time we Americans got over our adolescent squabbling about who can or will or does marry whom. America may still be a teenager in the historical sense, but if we don't grow up -- and right quickly -- we're going to be so mired in our troubles that we won't have time or energy for American hubris.
If The Today Show can treat us all as equals, and as adults, I don't see why Obama, who is against DOMA, can't do the grown-up thing, too. Because whilst it is the purview and the obligation of the Justice Department to defend the laws of our land, it is also the President's right not to insist upon an appeal of Judge Tauro's rulings.
Let weigh the issues: gay marriage or the oil spill in the Gulf; gay marriage or our addiction to foreign oil; gay marriage or financial regulation and reform.
Mr. Obama, Mr. President, President Obama, please don't appeal the rulings! Use your abundantly brilliant time, energy and focus to lead this country on the path we need to take.
We can just quarantine the teenagers till they wake up.
For spiritual nourishment, visit Dr. Susan Corso's website and blog, Seeds for Sanctuary. Follow her on Twitter @PeaceCorso and Friend her on Facebook.