Friday, March 01, 2013

Busy day for marriage

This has been a very busy day for marriage equality, with a lot of really positive things happening. So, it’s been a good day.

The biggest news of the day, of course, was that the Obama Administration has filed an amicus brief with the US Supreme Court, asking it to strike down California’s Proposition 8, which took away the right of gay couples to marry.

US Attorney General Eric Holder issued a statement the US government’s filing , saying in part:
“In our filing today in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the government seeks to vindicate the defining constitutional ideal of equal treatment under the law. Throughout history, we have seen the unjust consequences of decisions and policies rooted in discrimination. The issues before the Supreme Court in this case and the Defense of Marriage Act case are not just important to the tens of thousands Americans who are being denied equal benefits and rights under our laws, but to our Nation as a whole.”
I think he’s absolutely right, and presented what is the essential compelling reason for the Obama Administration to enter into the fray on this issue: “To vindicate the defining constitutional ideal of equal treatment under the law.”

Several other briefs were filed today, which was the last day to do so, and chief among the other ones was the amicus brief from the American Sociological Association. I mentioned this brief in a post earlier today, saying:
The ASA brief demolishes the studies used by the rightwing—including here in New Zealand—to argue that gay people are bad parents and, therefore, should not be allowed to marry. It seems obvious to me is that what the ASA did was show that the radical right is promoting prejudice, not scientific fact.
Meanwhile, a couple days ago, 131 Republicans also filed an amicus brief arguing that gay people have a constitutional right to marry. The tide is clearly turning—no, it’s already turned. In fact, the radical right is SO upset about this particular development that the Vatican’s front man, Brian Brown, attacked the list of Republicans as not “actively in politics”, apparently completely ignorant of the fact that two of the signators are sitting US Representatives. Oops.

So, this has been a good week in the struggle for marriage equality, and an especially good day. We’ll see plenty more of both.

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