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James Campion

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Supreme Decision

Posted: 03/29/2013 9:49 am

Nation's Highest Court Faces Down Discrimination in Our Time

Congress decided to reflect and honor of collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality. - House Report on the passing of Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.

This week the Supreme Court hears arguments to overturn the odious Defense of Marriage Act and the anti-constitutional nonsense known as Proposition 8, the California equivalent of the attack on civil rights spread across this nation of so-called liberty. Fourteen times prior this august body has called marriage "a fundamental right." And so, it is another day in court, the highest court, for the inalienable rights and pursuit of happiness so lauded, so celebrated, so promised by the aspirations of this flawed but unique nation. It is when the antiquated "gay marriage" issue begins to go away, as would any distinction in a right -- whether interracial, Jewish, Italian, Muslim, Mormon, whatever -- that the argument against the right does not stand.

Here is what the court must hear this week.

This is what the court must know this week.

Once and for all.

The public does not decide rights. The government does not grant rights. The public decides the social order of things and the government upholds our rights. Rights, as in what the court describes as the "fundamental right to marry," are granted by the very fact that we suck air. That we have a right to live in a free nation fought for, argued over, and put to the test for over 240 years.

It is a basic right: the basic right to exist and to therefore be given the same opportunity to share property and wills and investments and to adopt and raise children. A right. Not something to vote on or debate or discuss in linear, theological, biological, racial, cultural terms. It is a right. My right. Your right. Their right.

Without rights, keep your guns. Throw out your guns. Balance budgets. Don't balance budgets. Control the rest of the planet. Don't control the rest of the planet. It does not matter. What really matters, what has only mattered since the conception of America, are rights.

There is a lot of talk about growing public support for "same-sex marriage", but that changes nothing. A right to marry was just as valid when it was supported by only a percentage of the public -- whether it was 19 percent, 28 percent, 33 percent, 42 percent, 52 percent, or 63 percent. When interracial marriage was rightfully deemed a constitutional liberty in 1968, 72 percent of Americans still opposed it. You want to know how many Americans, many of them women, opposed the right to vote for women? A majority.

In fact, many of the social arguments against gay marriage harken back to the vote for women: "What's next? Children voting? Dogs voting? Lamps?" Just like the arguments against interracial marriage: "What's next? People marrying chimps? Their house?" It's all been said before and the "fundamental right" has defeated it all.

The other bogus argument is the threat to "traditional" marriage, as if tradition has ever meant a hill of beans in this nation of fluidity, of modernity, of progress and of constant revolutions -- social, moral, economic, cultural, religious, political. We're into upheaval, not tradition. Tradition is for parades, identifying law above superstition is how things go here, or should and will go here - eventually. There is no threat to marriage that involves society. Marriage is between a man and a woman and also two consenting adults, both sets of whom should not allow society or family or politics or race or religion to keep them for their right, their pursuit of happiness.

Another bogus argument against marriage equality is "marriage for procreation." In that case, why do couples either with no desire for children or are biologically incapable of bearing children marry? Should they then, in this scenario, be denied marriage? I wonder how much outrage you would have if you were impotent and the state denied you your right to marry.

Having beaten the God/Bible thing to death here, we'll just say, on the occasion of the Supreme Court hearing legal and binding arguments for and against the liberty of our fellow citizens that no one, not the Catholics or the Jews or the Muslims or the Evangelicals know what God wants. Nope. None. Not a wit. Assuming there is a God, when there is sworn testimony from the deity, we'll deal with that.

In fact we'll make this deal: When religions decide on what God supports -- what culture or region or NFL football team -- then we'll put that in writing. But for now, there is much to be figured out in the grand scheme of interpreting God, so until at which time there is a consensus of the Supreme Being, the Supreme Court should not and will not force any church into marrying anyone. This is not about churches. Church and state are separate and shall remain so. Let the churches protest by excluding certain citizens from their clubs. It's fine. They do not belong in this argument, one way or the other. They do not decide the law of the land on traffic issues, nor shall they on liberties.

Here it is: marriage is a public institution that excludes a portion of our society. This will not stand. And the fact that is has stood for as long as it has is criminal and an embarrassment to this country and all that it stands for. I have been writing this since the late-'90s and I will continue to write it, as sick of it as you are to read it and how exhausted I am penning it. From unpopular to popular, it has not changed here and it should not change in the most important chamber of law this republic has.

It is life.

It is liberty.

It is the pursuit of happiness.
Everything else, EVERYTHING else, is noise.

 
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