Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Random thoughts on the SCOTUS gay marriage decisions.

So first, regarding Prop 8: I've seen this quote in several different news articles today.
“We have never before upheld the standing of a private party to defend the constitutionality of a state statute when state officials have chosen not to,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “We decline to do so for the first time here.”
I'm fine with Prop 8 being struck down. I don't find the arguments for traditional marriage compelling. But I am bothered by the above reasoning. Isn't it the job of state officials to defend the state constitution? And if they refuse to do so, is SCOTUS saying the people of that state have no recourse? Because that makes it seem as if the governor and state AG can unilaterally decide how a state constitution will play out based on their personal beliefs. Seems hugely problematic, actually. Maybe we're meant to fire them for this, but that seems like an iffy result at best. Ah, politicians.

As far as DOMA, I'm glad the particular provisions got struck down. And I just wanted to say as an aside that I think the estate tax is freaking stupid anyway, and I wish we had a big movement to get rid of that in general. Btw, does this mean that I could now move to a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, marry a woman, and then legally leave her all my vast fortune (HA! I wish) without her having to pay taxes on it? Just wondering. It'll be interesting to see what kind of tax loopholes this could mean. I assume there are heterosexual non-romantic couples who already do this.

I have some loved ones and good friends who are traditional marriage proponents. I was thinking today how frustrated they must be and how that frustration is probably compounded by a feeling that they can't discuss what they think without being heavily set upon. Gay marriage doesn't divide the country the way, for example, abortion does. It's not an even half and half. More people support gay marriage than not, and the trend is increasing, and with it comes, I think, more vehement calling out of anyone who is against gay marriage.

I don't actually think the only reason to be against gay marriage is a hatred of gay people. I think there are religious reasons that have nothing to do with hatred. I don't hold or agree with those reasons but I can recognize the distinction. And I don't think people who are being sincere and trying to explain their positions should be shouted down; there are better ways to disagree.

On another note, I was skimming headlines about all of this and saw one about how this affects immigration--stories about same-sex partners in other countries who now can be supported for green cards. I thought that was pretty cool.

And I like this picture:
How my FB looked this morning.