With the news that is swarming the internet about the Supreme Court refusing to hear appeals in regards to Same-Sex Marriage Bans, I just had to share my thoughts. Below you will see what has become the anthem for the Same-Sex Movement, and it was done by a straight artist. If you actually take a min and listen to the words they really resonate on what is going on in the world today.
According to Freedom to Marry:
In 25 states – CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, IN, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OK, OR, PA, RI, UT, VA, VT, WA and WI, plus Washington, D.C. – same-sex couples have the freedom to marry.
In an additional five states – KS, NC, SC, WV, and WY – federal appellate rulings have set a binding precedent in favor of the freedom to marry, meaning the path is cleared for the freedom to marry there.
In another 10 states, judges have issued rulings in favor of the freedom to marry, with many of these rulings now stayed as they proceed to appellate courts: In AR, FL, ID, KY, MI, and TX, judges have struck down marriage bans, and in AZ, LA, OH and TN, judges have issued more limited pro-marriage rulings.
In NV, same-sex couples can join together in domestic partnership, which offers broad protections short of marriage. And in MO, the marriages of same-sex couples legally performed in other states are respected.
With these advances, a record number of Americans live in states that recognize relationships between same-sex couples:
- Over 54% of the U.S. population lives in a state with the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
- Nearly 55% of the U.S. population lives in a state with either marriage or a broad legal status such as domestic partnership.
- Over 60% of the U.S. population will soon live in a state with the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.
This is truly a time to remember, as things are soon to be the law of the land. As a soldier I fought in the name of freedom, only to be told i was not wanted to to my being a gay man, and returned home to Texas to be told I could not marry the person of my choosing. When I moved to California, I new I was now living in a state where I can live freely, and someday be able to publicly marry Mr. Right when he came along. I saw that reality come alive when Marriage was first made legal in California. Then a few months later than dream was shattered before it could come to fruition when the Voters chose to Ban Same-Sex Marriage. I am glad to have lived to see that right return to the citizens of California when Prop 8 was found to be unconstitutional. And the Justices of the US Supreme Court upheld that basis of the US Constitution that states that the majority can not choose to remove the rights of the minority. One of the reasons I took the Oath of Enlistment, “that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”This first part of that oath is used in nearly every government office in the country, as we as public servants choose to live to a higher standard, one where we will fight for those with no voice, and defend ALL AMERICANS from those who wish to do harm, be it by legal means or not. Granted, I no longer am held accountable to the Oath, as i don’t currently hold a public office, nor am I in the US Military. I choose to retain these words in my day to day life, it has made me the man I today. The openly gay Veteran who freely fights for full equality. I hope to see the day when every American Citizen can marry any one of their choosing. I hope to see the day where there is no such thing as discrimination. Some day I want to be able to marry Mr. Right, and have him eligible for full spousal benefits from the VA. I want to be able to show my future husband, whomever he is, that I love him in public without being called names or get dirty looks. I want to be able to visit my future husband in the hospital when he is sick and have him be able to make the decisions for me when that time comes, and ultimately be able to have my future husband buried along side me in a federally funded VA Cemetery.
These are just some of the rights that are banned from my same-sex family in states where it is illegal. and of course the federal government still is not affording these rights to every person dictated by federal law. When part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was struck down, causing a ripple effect that still has not run its course, allowing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states where it is legal. Each Department has been dragging its feet as they have to go thru and change the wording in all the federal code that was written before and after the passage of DOMA. You would think it would be a quick fix to have a few analysts go thru the code and remove any and all reference in regards to the federal ban of same-sex marriage. It sadly is not that easy, as some departments need to submit changes to congress before anything can happen. An example is when my friend Tracy Cooper-Harris filed suit against the Department of Veterans Affairs to have her lawfully wedded wife be able to share her VA Benefits just like her straight brothers and sisters in arms. As histrory has told us, the US Goverrnment lost that battle, and the VA was ordered to give Tracy’s wife the benefits she was due. This only went so far as the lawsuit was against the Veterans Health Administration. Another branch of the VA has yet to change their policy allowing same-sex couples to be buried in Federally Funded Veterans Cemeteries. Someday soon, we should see that change for the better.
In the lyrics of the song, “Same Love – Macklemore & Lewis feat. Mary Lambert“:
America the brave
Still fears, what, we don’t know
And God loves all His children
Is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written
35 hundred years ago
We see the artist make reference to two very important things, that the country we call the “Land of the Brave” is still afraid of the unknown and anything different. Can change really be that much of a threat to our country? I think not. This great country of ours has seen change and progress since day one. I don’t think we will ever be a perfect country where we no longer have to change our laws. Since the US Constitution was first written there have been 27 Official Amendments and over 11,000 proposals. Showing that we can always change laws. We also have adopted tens of thousands of laws since the country was founded, and congress makes hundreds of changes to these laws each year. Proving that if used properly we can truly be a land of people governed by the people, creating and enforcing laws that benefit all men and women. We are not a land where a book written 35 hundred years ago is the law of the land, as we don’t know who actually wrote it, and what the context could have been as we definitely live in a land where many of the Bibles laws do not exist. Both documents are also open to debate as the reader is allowed to interpret the words as they wish. I just do not agree when that interpretation is made in a manner to place harm on any person or group of people. That is not the word I was taught in Sunday School.
If you wish to read more on what the media is saying about today’s decision not to review the appeals you can visit these and the many more found using google or the search engine of your choosing:
- 60 Percent Of Americans Soon Will Live In States With Marriage Equality – Huffington Post
- Same-sex marriage gets tacit victory from Supreme Court – CNN
- High court ruling may lead to gay marriage in 30 states – USA TODAY
- Supreme Court Delivers Tacit Win to Gay Marriage – NY Times
- Supreme Court paves way for gay marriage in several states, leaves issue unresolved nationally – Fox News
- Supreme Court declines to review same-sex marriage cases – Washington Post
- How Same-Sex Marriage Is Unfolding in 11 States – ABC News
- Supreme Court won’t intervene in gay marriage – CNBC