We Are the SCOTUS Champions!
“We Are the Champions” is played after every major US sporting event. It’s tradition. From Detroit to Dallas, from New York to San Francisco, we celebrate victory with a song almost forty years old, written by a British bisexual who died of AIDS. It makes me smile through the tears each time.
Yesterday, I saw this on Facebook, and it made me tear up. Not only is Ian McKellen one of my favorite people in the world, but he has found the most appropriate way to celebrate the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling on same-sex marriage. Hear the song in the background? This particular SCOTUS ruling is our Super Bowl. It’s victory for the underdog. Somewhere between 1-20% of Americans are LGBT. (20% is high, but I think we will start to see a little more honesty in these numbers as the LGBT community gains acceptance.) The Supreme Court’s purpose is to protect the minority from persecution, and 1-20% is a definite minority. They do this by interpreting and upholding the Constitution. In the ruling for marriage equality, they cited the 14th Amendment:
“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; 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.”
The right to marry is a liberty that was offered to some, but not all. (In his dissent, Justice Scalia argued that marriage is not a “liberty” at all. I would hate to be his wife.) The freedom to marry is a liberty we have as Americans. Some countries still have dowries and arranged marriages. We are very fortunate to be able to choose our partners. Marriage is also a privilege. Ask anyone who can file jointly on Federal tax returns.
I’m not a lawyer, but this seems straightforward to me. This was the only way the Supreme Court could rule in this situation. I have to wonder if the dissenting justices also disagree with the original purpose of the 14th amendment, to grant citizenship and equal rights to African Americans emancipated from slavery after the Civil War. Lemur has said that LGBT rights are the civil rights of our generation. I’m so happy, my friends, that we are winning the fight. Now, we can address bullying in schools, ENDA, and equal pay for equal work. WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS OF SCOTUS!!!