Its All About Equality

June 27th, 2015 § 0 comments

In HG’s opinion, the recent Supreme Court decision about marriage isn’t about marriage. It is about equal rights under the law. This was long due recognition that LGBT citizens (Lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgendered) have equal rights (and obligations) under the law. The last paragraph of Justice Kennedy’s majority opinion summed it up eloquently: “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

The dissenting opinions were, as to be expected, mean spirited. Justice Scalia disgraced himself by referring to the decision as a “putsch”, a term that is familiarly used to describe Adolf Hitler’s first attempt to seize power in Germany. HG is a Marxist and views most events through the lens of economics. HG grew up in New York City. The LGBT community was imperative in helping to make the city viable as an economic entity through its leadership role in theater, music, dance, art, design, fashion, publishing, communications and dining. This leadership made New York a tourist destination and a place where the wealthy and the fashionable wanted to live (and invest). And, of course, the city’s creative luster lured the talented young from all over the world. New York’s LGBT population made a disproportionate contribution to this New York and their creative labor generated taxes and paid for urban services. In addition, gays were the most intrepid pioneers of urban renewal. Gays brought their daring and design sense to battered neighborhoods, making them desirable. (developers soon piggybacked and the neighborhoods became pricey). Meanwhile, LBGT citizens were obligated to pay their taxes like everyone else but did not enjoy the same rights. In order to survive, most LBGT persons had to lead hidden, furtive lives. HG always wondered why New York’s LBGT population didn’t revolt or refuse to pay their taxes. While helping to make New York rich and colorful, LBGT persons were targets of vicious police actions and condemnation by organized religion. Sad to say, progressive citizens fought against anti-semitism and racial hatred, but rarely voiced any opposition to the mistreatment of the LBGT population (Feminism, as a mass movement, was far in the future). It took many decades of effort but justice (hopefully) has been achieved. Yes, the Scalias and Clarence Thomas’ will continue to spew their hatred but it seems unlikely that the clock can be turned back. Equality, not marriage, is the point. Marriage seems to be a rather frayed institution these days. But, as a mordant observer explained his strong support of same sex marriage: “They’ve got a right to be as miserable as everyone else.”

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