Gay Marriage going to Scotys agaun? Utah, you're doing it wrong.
With the question of gay marriage going before the Supreme Court again, I’m reminded of something I wrote in June when DOMA was up for scrutiny, just before the opinion came down. It still applies today as Utah tries to change the most honored minds of our legal system.
My Appeal to Reason, Logic, and the Law on Marriage Equality
We the People Are Created Equal
Since I was about eight, I wanted to be a lawyer. Now that my dream has come true, I take my sworn Oath to uphold the law and the Constitution seriously. We lawyers are sworn Officers of the Court. I think Washington put it best. As a lawyer, “I cannot tell a lie.” And even if Washington did lie; even if he chopped down that cherry tree with a smile on his face, these are words all of us should try to live by.
The Constitution says that all men are created equal. But if you remember, women were not men and, therefore, women were once not equal. If you were not Christian, you were persecuted. If you were anything but a WASP, you were simply not equal under the eyes of the law. Can you imagine it? No? Good! That means that We the People are (almost) equal under the eyes of the law. Women, people of color, people of all faiths went from being nothing in the eyes of the law – nothing – to being equal.
As a woman, I once could not own property. I once did not have the basic fundamental rights of white men. I cannot fathom the injustice. But now, oh now! For all intents and purposes, women and men are equal. I am especially grateful for those before me who have laid down this righteous path, for I am able to own a home and a business, I am able to claim what’s mine and express my opinions, whether you like it or not. The best part? So are you. Is not our society a better place for it?
But my goal is to talk of marriage equality. We all should be equally free to choose whom we love and want to share ourselves, our property, our lives, and our hearts with. Equal like men. Equal like women. Equal like black, like white, like interracial. Equal like Christian, Catholic, Baptist, and Agnostic. Recall that what once was shocking is now the norm. This really is as it should be! There is no reason that science, faith, and the law cannot happily mingle on this subject. Let gay marriage be the new norm.
Just like many big trials, it has come down to a battle of the experts. But as we all know, opinions are like assholes. Everyone has one; and they all stink. Nevertheless, we must be guided by reason. In this case, it is plainly reasonable, dare I say it… it is clear (a four letter word for us lawyers) that people in a loving, committed, healthy, relationship and environment, including our precious children, are just plain happier. This is true, regardless of whether partners are straight, homosexual, transsexual, pansexual, bisexual, Fundamentalist, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Mormon, Christian, Catholic, black, white, green, blue purple, polkadot, or sparkle. That is a country I want to live in – full of happy, healthy people.
Your beliefs and preferences, your faith, all belong to you. Just like mine are mine. And you know what? I respect each and every one of your rights to practice your faith as you see fit. I also respect your right to love whom you want, regardless of their faith. I equally respect your right to love whom you want, regardless of their skin color. My “family” is made up of many characters. Each one is special, unique. They are brown, they are white, and shades in between. They are freckled, they are furry, they are weird, and so am I. I appreciate them. I love each and every one of them. Equally. But in different ways. It’s not rocket science. And it makes me happy.
What I’m getting at is: what’s right is right. Though reasonable, intelligent, rational minds may differ, the overwhelming weight of the evidence presented by the parties, their counsel, and the people of these United States of America is clear. We all have fundamental rights and marriage, just like religion and free speech, is a fundamental right. Peaceful protests abound on Facebook and Twitter on this issue, but regardless of your side, you have a voice. Regardless of your beliefs, you are not persecuted for them. Criticized? Perhaps. But not persecuted.
Look around you. This is once again becoming a nation of the people, by the people, for the people. Do you not see it with your own eyes? The Supreme Court has a clear opportunity to make a just decision this week, a moral decision, a common sense decision. Even if that means that some feel the law is not as well reasoned as it could have been.
Scoff all you like at the idea that the Supreme Court of the United States would ever issue a result driven opinion.
I dare you to retake your Oath as a Lawyer, as a Counselor, as Esquire and swear, under penalty of perjury of the laws of this great Union, that you can point to no single Opinion of our Highest Court that reaches the right (i.e. moral, just, etc.) decision without the best legal reasoning and keep a straight face.
Come on people! Facts are facts. Even in the face of compelling, persuasive, evidence on both sides of the coin, these are people; they are human beings; they are reasonable; they are rational; they feel; they bleed; they love. Just like you. And me.
So I am curious how our Supreme Court Justices think. If only I could ask them…
what are the People telling you?
Is there a rational basis for it?
Does it meet strict scrutiny?
Even a little?
Can you use your legal minds to make it work? You should.
But also, what do you feel in your gut? What is right to you?
What is right to your daughter?
To your mother?
And your father?
Moreover, what is logical and somewhat well reasoned?
Ultimately, though, what makes sense?
I implore you, is not your right to marry someone of another skin color a fundamental right? The same for religion? Yes! Scientific evidence is clear – love is not a choice. It is chemistry, it is biology, and it is emotion in each of their purest forms. True love, that is. It is also difficult and requires immense work. But, let’s face it folks, what you do behind your closed doors, if it is healthy, if it makes you happy, if it is not controlling, manipulating, and you love it just the way it is, you deserve to join together in whatever way you see fit, legally, emotionally, spiritually. Love is a fundamental right. Marriage is a fundamental right. Let the People choose, regardless of their preference in partner.
The bottom line is this:
All men are created equal.
“Man” on this day in our history, June 25, 2013, is synonymous with person. Each person is created equal. Love is not a choice. Gender is not a choice. Gender Identity is not a choice. If we are all created equal in the eyes of our own personal God (whichever God you choose – I’m on your side here), then our Constitution and your Religion are not in opposition on those points. Every person deserves to be in love. To share their lives with that one person that makes them happy beyond belief. You, me, them, they, all of us. We the People are on the same side here.
I am in support of marriage equality. And I am honored to be a part of the generation that will witness what the Highest Court in our Land will decide on this important issue.