And Forever Hold Your Peace

How long have you’ve been waiting to hear those words?

Well Edie Windsor has waited over 40 years with her romantic partner in order to say those words in Toronto in 2007. They both lived in New York, which before legalizing same-sex marriage last year, did recognize such unions to be legal if they were performed out of state.

However, the federal government does not recognize those same-sex partners as legally wed; and when Windsor’s partner died in 2009, she was required to pay inheritance taxes of over $300,000.

On the other hand, Britney Spears married childhood friend Jason Alexander in 2004 and annuled it in 55 hours (which is still the shortest marriage in history, I believe?); barely 10 years later, she has separated twice and has been engaged maybe 3 or 4 times.

So the Supreme Court (#SCOTUS) is supposed to be considering the arguments for same sex marriage; and the twitter feeds has been loaded with breaking tweets regarding Justice Scalia’s views about legislating from the courthouse or Justice Kennedy being the wild card in the mix.

DOMA or Defense of Marriage Act was passed under the liberal Clinton administration and restricts federal benefits (including taxes) to heterosexual married couples, despite the states’ individual laws. Prop 8 was passed in California, by a ballot referendum invalidating same-sex marriages in the state.

It’s interesting how this case is being argued in front of #SCOTUS — Equality vs. Tradition.

The Traditional arguments that Charles Cooper argued

Marriage is for Procreation (Thus, having sex within the marriage is only to have babies, not for intimacy or pleasure)

It is harmful for children to be raised by same-sex couples

Government should not interfere in defining a sanctimonious ritual (this for some reason was not argued in front of SCOTUS). Everyone, for legal reasons should have their civil union registered (inheritance, divorce, etc…) and have your church or faith describe your union.

Equality Arguments said by Ted Olson:

Marriage is a private right, in which all things–procreation is not required to get married. Prohibiting marriage violates constitutional liberties and one’s fundamental pursuit of happiness

Justice Scalia asked, “When did it become unconstitutional to exclude homosexuals from marriage?” Olson replied, “When did it become unconstitutional to exclude interracial marriage?” Thus, bringing us to the 14th amendment and what I like to call the Thurgood Marshall approach.

For those of you who remember your history (Brown v. Board and Loving Case) both civil rights case were tried as unconstitional per the 14th amendment.

The idea being that even for states that have “civil unions” and “domestic partnerships”, these titles will never be equal to the way society views marriage.

Do you celebrate a domestic-versary?

I now pronounce you partner and partner etc…..

Say Yes to The Dress

Having a separate title for something that is supposed to give you the same benefits is not equal to the real thing. People don’t dream about their union day where they enter a civil agreement. They dream about weddings and marital bliss.

Or as Thurgood Marshall argued in ’56: Separate can never be Equal.

So how do you think #SCOTUS will decide this case: Tradition or Equality?

You can view/listen to the entire oral arguments here

Comment or Tweet me your thoughts! Enjoy the long weekend.

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© 2012 -2013 S. C Rhyne

45 thoughts on “And Forever Hold Your Peace

  1. Drivel. No one who is basically illiterate about legal matters should try to comment on Supreme Court cases. Embarrassment ensues.

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  2. I believe that the discussion on same sex marriage is one that is becoming incredibly powerful across the globe. I don’t know much about what is happening in America, but In Australia, recently when the government voted to change the laws and allow for same sex marriage, it was discovered that the final tally was incredibly close, with nearly 50% of the government stating their preference for same sex marriage, unlike a year ago when most provided an adamant ‘no’.
    The one thing I have taken note of in this instance, is that both the PM and leader of the opposition have proclaimed how they have no intention of going through with allowing same sex marriage, so it really does not matter how wins the Oz election in September, same sex marriage will probably not be accepted Down Under for a few years to come.
    No matter where this discussion takes place, as long as homophobic leaders run the show, same sex marriage will always run opposed. I personally find this to be unfathomably ludicrous, I mean, don’t same sex couples deserve the ability to marry, divorce and make the same decisions and mistakes as heterosexual couples? I can’t imagine why we seriously need lengthy discussions on something which requires such an obvious answer.
    Very interesting post – oh, and Happy Easter weekend!

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    1. Yep, everyone has the right live unhappily ever after, lol. No, but I get your point, its interesting to see how this taking shape in other countries. Thanks for sharing your opinion

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  3. “Oh because it doesn’t fit societies standardized morals, it’s repulsive and rejected. People forget society has lost whatever morals it once had. Marriage is a union between two people, not between two people and the society. Mind your business and gossip behind closed doors.” And that’s my take on this matter 🙂 Thanks for posting on this issue

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    1. Hi Masks of Ivory,

      Thanks for sharing, so are you saying that it is a private right, and therefore Gov’t shouldn’t be legislating the definition of Marriage?

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  4. I will never understand how someone wanting the same thing that you have, and being allowed to get it makes what you have somehow less. Why do people always have to make everything a fight? Are we not all equal at birth? We are all the same until someone else impresses their beliefs upon us, causing us to be divided. A fact that leads me to question, if we are all the same at birth, isn’t it actually those that label and divide us that are wrong?

    Great post!

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    1. Hi Joe,

      Thanks for commenting, I see that you are standing for equality. We are all equal at birth, but to play devil’s advocate with the institution of marriage in a whirlwind anyway, wouldn’t domestic partnership actually be better (for same and hetero sexual couples)?

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      1. Honestly, as far as devil’s advocacy goes, I’m not sure why any of us really need to be married at all. I think it’s more of a testament to the strength of a relationship to be together because you want to be, verses having to go through a legal procedure if it doesn’t work out.

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  5. I think it would be prudent to take marriage out of the civil sphere altogether. Spain, for instance, just off the top of my head, requires a civil union for a marriage to be legally recognized. If a couple also want to be married in the church they can do so. They do not have to however, only the civil ceremony is required for the marriage to be recognized as legally binding. If that were a requirement here in this country I think we would not be having this argument at all.

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      1. Yes, they can. Spain recognizes that marriage/civil union/whatever you want to call it is a legal contract and as such is recognized and regulated by the state. Thus, inheritance rights, parental rights, emergency permissions rights, etc accrue to the partners regardless of the religious aspect. Which is as it should be. Those that are religious can certainly get married in a ceremony by a clergy person who respects their faith and commitment though I doubt that would probably be in a Catholic church ceremony.

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  6. I know a lot of people have different opinions on this issue, (some people very close to me are gay or lesbian) but I believe that if two people want to express their love for one another in that way (as far as getting married, making it official) even if they are the same sex then they should have the right too, I mean they are citizens too? Right? I thought this whole equal right issues were all figured out? I appreciate your fine words and glad you wrote this!:)

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    1. Hey love, I guess that’s what it comes down to, is marriage a right guaranteed to every person in the U.S or a sanctimonious privilege?

      I read one man’s blog who said that marriage is a union between man, woman, and God. If God is not part of that union, then you shouldn’t be getting married, hence leaving out nonChristians.

      I believe marriage is a privilege (in the sense that you don’t just marry anyone, you marry the right one, if you’re lucky to find that person.)

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  7. I have a hard time believing that “civilized” people could still be again same-sex marriage. In a world that contains much to much pain and suffering any expression of love should be celebrated!

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    1. Interesting point,

      In a world full of suffering, pain, war and death. We forgot the most important point, love?

      But to play devil’s advocate couldn’t love still be expressed in a domestic partnership?

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      1. Very true that it could be, however why set limits to number the ways others are allowed to express their love??

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  8. This is a nice, succinct breakdown of the arguments. I actually know some gay conservatives who are for civil unions instead of marriage. This will give me more of a framework to work with when I ask them why they think this way.

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  9. I’m not so sure we are all equal at birth. I think a statement like that ignores the advantages/disadvantages some have over others.
    That we all have equal value before God or as individuals when we are born is true, but society doesn’t give everyone the same privileges. If you are born to a lesbian mother you do not have the same advantages in life as if you are born to a married man and woman, and this applies to lots of circumstances.
    Now I am a deeply religious person and I have at least one friend-acquaintance who is in a same-sex union, but whether or not same-sex marriage is ever legalized, I will never consider that sort of union to be moral or comparable to the sanctity of the marriage between a man and a woman.
    The laws may change, but immorality is immorality whether it is adultery, fornication, bestiality or sodomy.

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    1. Interesting points Valencia,

      You’re right we are not all equal from birth, society tells us that. Hoever, I guess the point the previous commenter was trying to make is that we should all have access to the same rights, including marriage.

      But regardless of whether its legal or not, its still about morality in the eyes of God?

      Ok, any other opinions?

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  10. Reblogged this on Pop! Culture & Politics and commented:
    Marriage Equality vs Domestic Partnerships? If the Supreme Court would like to downgrade “marriage” to a religious ritual with no legal standing and all couples (or families) who shared assets or children (or the intention of the same) could step up and register as civil partnerships, I’d be totally down with that. But as that doesn’t seem to be on the menu, I’ll order a side dish of equal citizenship. And a round for the house.

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  11. Some would argue that the purpose of marriage is to procreate which, if that were the law of the land, then my marriage would not be recognized because my husband and I don’t have children. I would like to see DOMA deemed unconstitutional and see more states recognize marriages between same-sex couples. In a perfect world, any two consenting adults can marry, but we are so far from perfect. Thanks for posting on this very important topic!

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  12. Hmmm. I really must get my eyes tested. I thought the title was, Hold Your Piece, and had mentally prepared a whole comment about how the church is wrong and it doesn’t make you go blind even though I have to wear glasses, as did my late husband, and then I read John Mecklin’s – the erstwhile and erudite, Stormin’ Norman’s lookalike – reply, so I read the title again.
    Maybe the above commenter should do just that, as he comes across as a rather pompous ass.
    That he would caution against commentary from anyone who is not conversant with the Law has never stopped people commenting before and one such idiot by the name of George Bush considered the bible to be Law and he commented on it often, to the point that he believed the world was created in seven days.
    Interesting that Mr. Mecklin’s Gravatar photo shows him standing next to a military vehicle,possibly in the desert, and presumably during a war or military exercise of some description?
    Odd how we view morals, ethics and different world views, is it not, dear?
    Here is a gentleman, all full of smiles during a potential war zone and he is concerned about a legal case about homosexuals and whether we should comment on such issues?
    Maybe Mr. Mecklin should hold his own piece, in case one of the fellows back at barracks turns out to be ‘queer’ and makes a grab for it just too show what a dickhead people like him are?

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      1. Yes, I agree, dear. People should be allowed to express their opinion. When I was a gel, being gay simply meant being happy. At my boarding school we had a maths teacher, called Winthrop who looked exactly like Mr. Mecklin, and he would secretly dress up in ladies clothes and go out dancing with Mr. Jenkinson, the geography teacher. Winthrop had a mustache in those days too. I am surprised no one ever commented. But then our PT teacher was a woman and had more facial hair than my late father.
        We used to call old Winthrop, ”Vulgar Fraction Olga”.
        This was why seeing his Gravatar picture initially gave me quite a turn.
        In fact if Mr.Mecklin’s photo is quite old it might well be Vulgar Olga. Could we ask him do you think?

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  13. This is a fantastic article 🙂 Why oppress something that isn’t necessarily a choice! It’s love after all. Nothing surpasses it.. even tradition. Victor E Frankl in his book “Man’s search for meaning” really nailed in the depth of love for me. They aren’t just frolicking around and toying with their sexuality. For them it’s as certain as a connection between a male and a female.

    The simple discrimination from the government and archaic arguments from religious sectors need to be stopped.

    Even though I’m not a hippy…. One love, maaaan..

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  14. I hate how people argue about marriage equality. Everyone should be allowed to marry who they love. Gays aren’t ruining the sanctity of marriage. If anything, gay marriage is saving the sanctity of marriage. Celebrities and people who have gotten married more than two times are ruining marriage.

    Everyone should be allowed to marry, except siblings because that’s really unhealthy.

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    1. Half of Europe is related…lol! But yeah I agree Don’t see how the fastest marrige in the U.S. (Brittney Spears and what’s his face) can be more sacrilegious than a gay couple together for 40 years…

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