The International Writers Magazine: Reality Check + Readers Responses
Nation's Highest Court Faces Down Discrimination in Our Time
"Congress decided to reflect and honor of collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality." -- House Report on the passing of Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.
This week the Supreme Court hears arguments to overturn the odious Defense of Marriage Act and the anti-constitutional nonsense known as Proposition 8, the California equivalent of the attack on civil rights spread across this nation of so-called liberty. Fourteen times prior this august body has called marriage "a fundamental right". And so, it is another day in court, the highest court, for the inalienable rights and pursuit of happiness so lauded, so celebrated, so promised by the aspirations of this flawed but unique nation. It is when the antiquated "gay marriage" issue begins to go away, as would any distinction in a right; whether interracial, Jewish, Italian, Muslim, Mormon, whatever, that the argument against the right does not stand.
Here is what the court must hear this week.
This is what the court must know this week.
Once and for all.
The public does not decide rights. The government does not grant rights. The public decides the social order of things and the government upholds our rights. Rights, as in what the court describes as the "fundamental right to marry", are granted by the very fact that we suck air. That we have a right to live in a free nation fought for, argued over, and put to the test for over 240 years.
It is a basic right; the basic right to exist and to therefore be given the same opportunity to share property and wills and investments and to adopt and raise children. A right. Not something to vote on or debate or discuss in linear, theological, biological, racial, cultural terms. It is a right. My right. Your right. Their right.
Without rights, keep your guns. Throw out your guns. Balance budgets. Don't balance budgets. Control the rest of the planet. Don't control the rest of the planet. It does not matter. What really matters, what has only mattered since the conception of America, are rights.
There is a lot of talk about growing public support for "same-sex marriage", but that changes nothing. A right to marry was just as valid when it was supported by only 19 percent of the public, then 28 percent, then 33 percent, then 42 percent, then 52 percent, and now 63 percent. When interracial marriage was rightfully deemed a constitutional liberty, 65 percent of Americans still opposed it. You want to know how many Americans, many of them women, opposed the right to vote for women? A majority.
In fact, much of the social arguments against gay marriage harkens back to the vote for women; "What's next? Children voting? Dogs voting? Lamps?" Just like the arguments against interracial marriage; "What's next? People marrying chimps? Their house?" It's all been said before and the "fundamental right" has defeated it all.
The other bogus argument is the threat to "traditional" marriage, as if traditions has ever meant a hill of beans in this nation of fluidity of modernity of progress and constant revolutions; social, moral, economic, cultural, religious, political. We're into upheaval, not tradition. Tradition is for parades, identifying law above superstition is how things go here, or should and will go here -- eventually. There is no threat to marriage that involves society. Marriage is between a man and a woman and also two consenting adults, both sets of whom should not allow society or family or politics or race or religion to keep them for their right, their pursuit of happiness.
Another bogus argument against marriage equality is "marriage for procreation". In that case why do couples either with no desire for children or are biologically incapable of bearing children marry? Should they then, in this scenario, be denied marriage? I wonder how much outrage you would have if you were impotent and the state denied you your right to marry.
Having beaten the God/Bible thing to death here, we'll just say, on the occasion of the Supreme Court hearing legal and binding arguments for and against the liberty of our fellow citizens that no one, not the Catholics or the Jews or the Muslims or the Evangelicals know what God wants. Nope. None. Not a wit. Assuming there is a God, when there is sworn testimony from the deity, we'll deal with that.
In fact we'll make this deal: When religions decide on what God supports -- what culture or region or NFL football team -- then we'll put that in writing. But for now, there is much to be figured out in the grand scheme of interpreting God, so until at which time there is a consensus of the Supreme Being, the Supreme Court should not and will not force any church into marrying anyone. This is not about churches. Church and state are separate and shall remain so. Let the churches protest by excluding certain citizens from their clubs. It's fine. They do not belong in this argument; one way or the other. They do not decide the law of the land on traffic issues, nor shall they on liberties.
Here it is; marriage is a public institution that excludes a portion of our society. This will not stand. And the fact that is has stood for as long as it has is criminal and an embarrassment to this country and all that it stands for. I have been writing this since the late-90s' and I will continue to write it, as sick of it as you are to read it and how exhausted I am penning it. From unpopular to popular, it has not changed here and it should not change in the most important chamber of law this republic has.
It is life.
It is liberty.
It is the pursuit of happiness.
Everything else, EVERYTHING else, is noise.
© James Campion March 29th 2013
READERS RESPONSES 4.6.13
The drone policy of our government and the absolute powers exhibited by this president, as were the last ones by the previous administration, are the obvious consequences of the way we as citizens allowed the zealous deconstruction of our rights immediately after 9/11. (LIFE (AND DEATH) DURING PERPETUAL WARTIME -- Issue: 2/13/12) Back then there was at least an excuse: the shock and fear that we were not as powerful and untouchable as we once had thought. Panic set in at the highest corridors of our government and we demanded to we protected and see justice served. We did not seem to care about what would come of it. We went for immediate gratification; we let our principles as a free people go away -- torture, spying, invading countries that had nothing to do with out plight. We were damned scared and acted like it -- from people to government.
What is happening now is far more frightening. We have learned nothing from the Bush/Cheney years. We have a president who ran against these atrocities, promised to shut down our illegal prisons and to be transparent in our overseas operations. He lied. And by now using drones against American citizens and having an enemies list to rub out while continuing to try and negotiate fairly with rogue nations like Iran in a hotbed of revolt and anti-American fervor throughout a volatile Middle East, things have gone full circle.
We know now, as you say, there is no going back. We are a war nation more than ever before. And while World War II was massive and Viet Nam disastrous, we now may never know a time without our most generous resource and biggest export is violence and death.
I don't know who the bad guys are any more. I have to trust that someone does. Who is accountable? Have we evolved to the degree where our inherent need to conduct warfare has honed itself to strategic levels where now only a few will die (compared to past slaughters, ethnic cleansing, holodomors etc.)? We shout for transparency regarding who our government is offing (or planning to off) while at the same time we willingly place all of our faith in those who we feel will protect us while hoping, with all of our might, that they have the wisdom to act in a manner that justifies the authority we have handed them. We curl up in our metaphorical Snuggies and watch the Grammys pausing at a commercial break to briefly take stock of the world that surrounds us before sticking or heads back into the sand. We sleep soundly at night believing that the Good Guys are taking care of business when we know that there are no longer "good guys" or "bad guys". That there never really was. Just degrees of bad and levels of tolerance. Nazis, Khmer rouge, Stalinistas or Grey Wolves. CIA, IRA, KGB, KFC. Our government has always held the right to indiscriminately kill us (Just ask the American Indian). The saving grace is that, at least now, they have the technology to do it with precision.
Where is the Left now that their beloved president is in the same black hole as Dick Cheney, the minister of unlawful hate and destruction? Where is the outrage? The anti-war protests? Killing citizens? How about Rand Paul waiting twelve hours during an inexhaustible filibuster in the senate for an answer from our chief law officer on whether it is legal for the government to murder its citizens on suspicion of terrorism. This is FDR Japanese interment camps and Nixon's enemies list. It is Bush's domestic surveillance, and it is wrong.
It's hilarious. The last president killed innocents abroad -- women, children, bombing schools and churches for absolutely nothing, but since they weren't Americans, it was apparently fine. Now this guy kills one American (a terrorist) and there is wild screaming -- especially from the Right that has no leg to stand on after their dismantling of the constitution and destruction of the economy.
I say, drone away.
It is better than sending my son to another duty in a country we had no business being in in the first place. THANK YOU, GEORGE BUSH.
Come on, James be real. (JOE COOL BUDGET/GUNS/IMMIGRATION/EDUCATION TOUR 2013 -- Issue: 2/27/13) The Democrat Senate and the Democrat President do not pass budgets because they do not have to. The Big 3 networks, CNN, MSNBC, the NEW York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times and every other major daily rag have never and will never call their guys out and so doing the heavy lifting is left to the next guy. Hence the problem with sequestration. The whole she-bangabang was Barack Hussein's idea and now that it is blowing up in his face he gets the Palace Scribes to go out and blame the GOP. The GOP on the other hand is not doing themselves any favors by allowing themselves to get butt violated by this President and not fighting back.
The fact you haven't figured out why Barry Soetero is out on tour is rather funny. Don't you understand it is easier to campaign than govern? He has a media who will support his every whim and never call him on it and he has a free 747 full of Jet A for whenever he needs it. He stays on the campaign trail and will never have to be held to account for his many failures.
It is funny, when there is a Republican President, it is all his fault but when there is a Democrat President both sides are at fault. Oh to be a Democrat at a time when 47% are living off your benevolence....
I am positive there will be no gun control laws passed by this or any congress ever. The president can go on all the populist tours he'd like. We love our guns. And by the way we love our shitty fast food and our porn and our reality shows and our beer and pot and NASCAR and there is not a damned thing the northern NY establishment elite can do about it. They cannot touch that. And we don't care what manner of murdering anti-societal inbreeds you call us either. This is not going to change. Live with it.
* See Cincinnati Gun Laws. Ed
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