It amazes me that same sex couples will soon be able to marry in Iowa but not in California. Did the coast suddenly shift to the Midwest? Will Des Moines become the next hot spot for gay couples? It is also amazing that this state has huge numbers of Lutherans who have struggled with LGBT issues for years within their faith.
Same sex marriage continues to get a lot of press. The term is now shifting to “marriage equality” as courts and legislatures discuss the civil rights aspect of marriage. In Vermont, a bill to allow same sex marriage passed both houses, was vetoed by the governor and overridden by the house and senate today. Vermont joins the states who embrace marriage equality. In California the Supreme Court has still not returned with its verdict on Proposition 8. It has indeed been a busy month for LGBT rights.
Every morning I read 3 or 4 articles that my Yahoo! News search delivers to my inbox on the topic of same sex marriage and Proposition 8. I have found a common thread throughout many of them. As with any civil rights movement, the heat is always the hottest as the issue is coming to a groundbreaking event or series of events. That is what is happening with marriage equality. As states line up on both sides of this issue, opponents and supporters are more visible and vocal.
Opponents of marriage equality base their arguments largely on a Biblical point of view and not a civil rights or constitutional point of view. They deny that this is a matter of civil rights. However, you can not deny that fact since our government bestows a myriad of privileges and benefits to married couples. They also state that it is the “will of the people” that should drive the recognition of these marriages. That is a very dangerous argument that bestows great power on the majority to grant or deny the rights of minorities at their will. Where would we be if we used this logic with women’s issues and the great 60s civil rights movement? These are not “activist” judges. They are judges interpreting the law in context of today’s society. Democracy is not broken. It is well and working as it should be to assure fair and equal treatment to all under the law of the land.
This will continue to be a breakthrough year for LGBT civil rights. Yes, there will be setbacks, but there will be many advances made. The future even holds more promise. Look at this nation’s demographics for voting patterns and acceptance of LGBT people. Young = Pro LGBT; Old = Con LGBT. Thank goodness our nation is aging.