DC’s Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against overturning same-sex marriage in the district last week via the ballot box. Opponents are already promising to bring the case before the Supreme Court. Opponents are wrong.
The decision although divisive in some circles is the right one. Why should human rights be put up for voters to decide? If the rights of a minority were left for the majority to decide, then separate but equal might still be the law of the land in certain parts of the country. Some might think that comparing segregation to gay marriage goes too far, but what is it when you tell a group of people that they cannot do the same thing you do because they are different? It is sad to see that many who would have been affected by segregation are on the forefront to discriminate against gay people.
Bishop Harry Jackson of the Hope Christian Church, has been fighting tooth and nail against gay marriage in the district. He fought to ban even the recognition of gay marriage in the DC when marriages were performed in other states with his “Marriage Initiative of 2009”. Sylvia Rhue, director of religious affairs for NBJC told the Intelligence Report of Jackson’s attitude: “I think it’s disturbing when black people join the contemporary Confederate army… I don’t see [anti-gay religious leaders] as any different than the army who wanted a civil war to maintain slavery. They were passionate and thought that God was on their side. But they were very wrong”.
The attitude towards same-sex marriage is thankfully changing. More States are debating the issue and younger generations are more accepting of equality. Unfortunately in most of the country the issue is still poison to a politician’s career. Even the President, at his most popular, would not support gay marriage and he is gingerly trying to end “don’t ask, don’t tell”. And forget the Republicans, the Libertarians who think government ought to stay out of people’s lives. They are even against hate crime protection. Republicans proved that when they voted against legislation that included sexual orientation to the hate crimes.
The decision of the DC court is the right one, and a small step towards equality. There is still a lot of work to be done. A federal court in MA ruled that same sex couples deserve federal recognition, holding DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) unconstitutional. In California courts seem to be ready to strike down Prop. 8. Supporting a ban on gay marriage is discrimination, because it is not about preserving traditional marriage, it is about taking someone else’s rights because they are different than you. If the intentions were to preserve marriage, then why are opponents not trying to ban divorce?