Yesterday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case about California’s Proposition 8. Today, the federal Defense of Marriage Act is on the docket. Now, any long-time reader of this blog knows where I stand on this issue; God knows, I’ve written enough about it. I write about yet again because we stand at a critical juncture in history. In hearing these cases, the highest court in the land has taken on deciding whether institutional discrimination is lawful in this country. I am hopeful these vile laws will be stricken from the books and I’m not alone in that hope. Many people I know feel the same way. Perhaps the most eloquent is my friend, Brian Carden who said “I can only pray that the Supreme Court makes the right decision, based upon the teaching of Jesus Himself, “A new command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you, so you must love one another.” And who is going to argue with the big guy?”
Yesterday, I changed my Facebook and Twitter profile picture to the one you see above and, in what may be an underhanded attempt to garner some attention, I had Diana post a comment asking me what it meant. I explained that it was a symbol of support for marriage equality. This morning, a friend saw that explanation and questioned whether my stance denied the basis of morality found in scripture. I answered “Supporting marriage equality does not mean denying the basis of morality in scripture, it means understanding that LGBT people are my neighbors and denying them basic rights violates Jesus’ commands to love everyone.” If I apply a litmus to anything in life, it would the commands, “Love your neighbor as yourself“, “Love your enemies” and “Love each other just the way that I have loved you”. And, I’m sorry, but denying two adults who love each other the right to marry fails this test miserably.
I said in the first paragraph that “I am hopeful these vile laws will be stricken from the books…” After hearing some of the questions the Justices asked yesterday, that hope is still there, but it’s hanging on by a thread. Justices Roberts and Kennedy seem very reluctant to even hear the case and may be looking for a way out that doesn’t require them to settle the question once and for all. Roberts seemed annoyed at the demand for recognition of gay marriage “right away”, preferring instead public debate on the question which is headed toward broader acceptance. Kennedy wondered whether the court should have taken up the case at all, saying that same-sex marriage takes us into “uncharted waters”. But, this court is full of surprises, so I’m not giving up.
I won’t lie, I’ll be disappointed if the decisions from the cases are any less than broad rulings which strike down laws that prohibit same-sex marriage. But, no matter the outcome, I will rely on the words of my friend Hugh Hollowell who said
“We vote for equality every day of our lives, by our lives. We vote for equality when we notice that everyone who sits as a guest at our table is of the same sexual orientation we are, and we work to change this. We vote for equality when we notice whose voice is not being heard, and call attention to it.”