We don’t really need the Supreme Court to tell us that basic human and civil rights are our inheritance as citizens of the United States of America. Do we? Hasn’t the legality of marriage equality and the illegality of the Defense of Marriage Act already been decided in this country a multitude of times in different contexts? Why must we go this route again and again to make our basic human rights and our Constitutional promises a reality to ever-widening groups of Americans?
The battle was literally fought, through guns and war, at the very inception of this nation when we banded together against the Goliath Great Britain for our freedom, and created our country founded on inalienable rights. Then we fought again, Americans against Americans, in our horrendous Civil War. The outcome of that war expanded the group benefitting from those inalienable rights and our Constitutional freedoms.
Many times groups of Americans have come before our courts to ask to be recognized as having our Constitutionally mandated inalienable and basic rights. The courts have extended these rights and freedoms to woman and to African-Americans, to name two such groups. These decisions should have been foregone conclusions based on the promise of our Constitution and the many, many Americans who have died fighting for our freedoms. Even if they were not foregone conclusions, at least we now have a body of law to serve as precedent for gay, lebian and transgender equality.
So what is the difference between the gay, lesbian and transgender quest for equality and the other hard fought and won quests that came before? Nothing. Like all before, arguments were made that God was against the particular equality being sought. I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time getting into God’s head, and a harder time carrying out God’s vast plan to supposedly keep certain of God’s creation inferior under man’s law. Besides, we are a nation founded on the separation of church and state. What your God may find repulsive, mine may not, and those difference are not legal theories upon which our courts can or should base their decisions.
Injustice to a few is injustice to all. I know it has been said many times before, but it bears mentioning again. We must stand together, as Americans of all stripes, to assure that the very foundations of our Constitutional freedoms are available to all Americans, regardless of race, gender, national origin and sexual orientation.
You might find Cory Booker’s human rights speech enlightening on this subject.