Supreme Cowards - A Tale of Two Americas

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“Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot” is a 1996 book by Al Franken that made it to number one on the New York Times best sellers list. In the 17 years since its release none of his Neanderthal attitudes have changed, Rush is still a Big Fat (Drug Addict) Idiot, and just as ignorant.

He and his “dittos” continue to thrive in the “Bozone(n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.  In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality all he was capable of uttering was: "…all the gay issues are behind us… and the gays are free to turn out and support Republicans now."

Memo to Rush: The Supreme Court cowardly backed away from actually making same sex-marriage part of the Constitution and fulfilling the spirit of the Pledge of Allegiance  of ... Liberty and justice for all. In the aftermath that followed the June 26 ruling people lost sight of the many unresolved challenges we continue to face in the wake of a legally bland SCOTUS decision. This is by no means a comprehensive list:

 

  • Thirty states have amended their constitutions to prohibit same-sex marriage.

 

 

  •  Federal law does not prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity...

 

 

  • ...And over half of U.S. states offer no protection against employment discrimination, either.

 

 

  • Federal law does not prohibit housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity...

 

 

  • ...And over half of U.S. states offer no protection from housing discrimination, either.

 

 

  • Federal law does not prohibit discrimination when providing access to public accommodations like restaurants, parks, hotels, and buses.

 

 

  • LGBT people face discrimination and other barriers to accessing health care.

 

 

  • Most states do not have laws allowing same-sex parents to adopt children - six states outright ban them.

 

What the Court has done is create and reinforce two separate Americas adrift in a cultural and legal divide. The rulings leave in place laws banning same-sex marriage around the nation, and the court declined to say whether there was a constitutional right to such unions. As a small consolation in clearing the way for same-sex marriage in California, the nation’s most populous state, the court effectively increased to 13, the number of states that allow it. The decisions will only intensify the fast-moving debate over same-sex marriage, and the clash in the Supreme Court reflected the one around the nation.

For now there’s no indication that the current Justices are interested in revisiting the issue. They could have seized the opportunity to make same-sex marriage legal nationwide based upon the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution but they chose not to. Changing institutions through constitutional cases is more often than not a very slow process. The Supreme Court for example did not overturn laws banning interracial marriage until almost 20 years after the California Supreme Court ruled that interracial couples had the right to marry. We are still far away from fulfilling the promise of the Pledge.. One nation, indivisible…  As we stand we officially are the Altered States of America, the Divided States of America or the Confused States of America, take your pick.

Gay marriage opponents, peppered with the obligatory Crazy Christers, said they were relieved to know that states still maintained their rights to remain as irrational, bigoted, homophobic and misguided as they each saw fit.

While the other 13, the number of the original colonies, continue on their chosen path of clear logic, sensible enlightened equality while fostering a more humane culture and system of government.

We might try to engage Republicans in this sensible enlightened discourse but it is going to take time and effort. They do not believe in the theory of evolution so they will never evolve themselves. They are totally oblivious and they will go on pandering to old white religious fundamentalists and conspiracy theorists. They do not have an ounce of common sense so there can’t be any common ground.

Let’s not forget that these are the same Republicans that after being  kicked to the ground  by an electorate that for some reason has a problem with politicians being completely out of touch with the pulse of the nation, learned absolutely nothing from that lesson. Sadly their national role will continue to be primarily stubbornly negative, regressive, seeking to block, delay, stall and filibuster measures that with time eventually become, no matter what, law of the land. These people will remain entrenched in certain geographical areas, backwards redneck/hillbillies islands, surrounded by a nation continuously, albeit slowly, growing more liberal, progressive and democratic.

While our democracy has come a long way since 1776, true equality still doesn’t prevail.

For the time being let’s be grateful for the small steps our country is taking.

I am glad to see that two issues close to my heart are gathering speed and moving hand in hand:

The legalization of marijuana and same-sex marriage. Bible thumpers should support them both because they make perfect biblical sense. In Leviticus 20:13 it says: A man who lays with another man should be stoned.” Well there you go if the Bible says it, it must be true. Pier Angelo


Greg Kabel

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