Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Turning Point In Marriage Equality

Mark this day because it represents a turning point in the fight for equality in the United States. The President of the United States has stated his belief that adults who love each other should share in the same civil rights as other adults who love each other. Suddenly, the president's new campaign slogan, Forward, has new resonance. Under Obama's leadership, we have the opportunity to move forward towards a future where the guarantees of the 14th Amendment: "nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws" are applied to all citizens.

North Carolina might have just slammed the door on marriage equality and civil unions, but I have no doubt that ultimately that kind of discrimination and denial of rights will be overturned, and they should be. No state, even under the guise of federalism, should be able to hide behind a referendum when it comes to rights. This is why the Founders (you remember the Founders: This is a country about Founders) created a republic. They recognized the mischief inherent in allowing democratic votes on suspect propositions.

And where is Mitt Romney on the issue? Backwards. Mitt doesn't believe that other people should share in civil rights because he, personally, doesn't think that gays should have marriage equality. Isn't that quaint? What other civil rights is Mitt going to deny people because he, personally doesn't believe in them? I notice that he's leaving caffeine drinkers alone, for now at least. Be thankful.

Of course, the big question is how this is going to affect the presidential race and more specifically, Obama's reelection chances now that he's jumped into the public pool with both feet. (By the way, without civil rights protections, Barack Obama would not have been able to swim in that public pool in North Carolina. Just sayin'.) My sense, and my hope, is that this helps him with the younger people who don't seem quite as threatened by the idea of two loving adults actually being able to get married and share in all its legal bliss.

I could be wrong, but if I am, it will be because too many Americans don't realize that it doesn't matter who you love, just as it doesn't matter what religion, race, gender, or creed you call yourself. The genius of this country is that all citizens are guaranteed equal protection. All. No exceptions. That's something I will gladly fight for.

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