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GayTies News for Wednesday, July 1, 2015

"We Do!"-- Episcopalians OK Marriage for Same-Sex Couples

The Episcopal Church took a giant step forward today by removing barriers for same-sex couples desiring to be married in the church. Meeting in Salt Lake City, the General Convention an overwhelming majority of t... Show more

As Same-Sex Couples Line Up To Wed, Others Celebrate The Right To...

While courthouses around the nation are flush with same-sex couples ready to tie the knot, a New Orleans court has already seen another effect of marriage equality: divorce equality. Shortly after the Supreme Cou... Show more

We're All Celebrating Federal Marriage Equality, But Still Ignori...

Whenever a state introduced same-sex marriage, the community encouraged couples to get married, not only for their own benefit, but to create a growing number of couples to show the country how important, and non... Show more

Comedian Kurt Braunohler Is Driving A Giant Butt Across The Count...

We're not trying to be cheeky here, but grab a seat, and we'll get to the bottom of this. Kurt Braunohler -- comedian, skywriter and jet skier -- is hauling a giant paper-mache butt on the back end of his truck t... Show more

R-E-S-P-E-C-T and Why Queers Don't Quite Have It Yet

If you look at any 2015 Pride event, you will see that there have been some significant changes over the past few years. Marches now seem like a distant memory, replaced by fabulous and colorful processions parad... Show more

21 First-Date Horror Stories To Remind You That Romance Is Dead

Looking for love often puts people in weird, awkward and sometimes downright scary situations. While online dating, apps and nosy matchmaking mothers make it easier than ever to match up with hot singles in your... Show more

2 ways to search for videos by subject, either click on "Category," or enter a single seach word in the "Filter." Either way, you'll find what you are seeking.

Article of the Week

Supreme Court Makes Gay Marriage the Law of the Land

Hell yes: the Supreme Court has struck down all federal bans on same-sex marriage. What a beautiful day for basic common sense, civil rights, and human dignity. The vote was 5-4. Gay marriage is now the law of the land in all 50 states.

The case was Obergefell v. Hodges, a group of consolidated cases that asked the justices to decide whether the Fourteenth Amendment required a state to issue a marriage license to two people of the same sex, and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when the license was issued in another state.

The link to the majority decision and the dissents — each of the four disseneters wrote their own dissent — is here. The majority opinion, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagan, and Ginsburg, closes with a particularly beautiful passage on why we care about marriage as an institution, and why it should be open to everyone:

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.”

The dissenters were, as you might expect, the more conservative justices: Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito. In the dissenting opinion Roberts wrote that same-sex marriage is very nice and all, but that states should individually decide whether to accept it:

“Although the policy arguments for extending marriage to same-sex couples may be compelling, the legal arguments for requiring such an extension are not. The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage. And a State’s decision to maintain the meaning of marriage that has persisted in every culture throughout human history can hardly be called irrational. In short, our Constitution does not enact any one theory of marriage. The people of a State are free to expand marriage to include same-sex couples, or to retain the historic definition.”

Roberts also used some, uh, pretty strong language to accuse the majority of hubris: “The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. The majority expressly disclaims judicial “caution” and omits even a pretense of humility, openly relying on its desire to remake society according to its own “new insight” into the “nature of injustice.” Ante, at 11, 23. As a result, the Court invalidates the marriage laws of more than half the States and orders the transformation of a social institution that has formed the basis of human society for millennia, for the Kalahari Bushmen and the Han Chinese, the Carthaginians and the Aztecs. Just who do we think we are?” (The Supreme Court now apparently makes laws for the “Kalahari Bushmen and Aztecs,” rather than simply these United States. What a big day! So many changes!)

The lead plaintiff in the case, Jim Obergefell, told the Washington Blade he’d been in D.C. all week anxiously awaiting the ruling. Obergefell is a widower from Cincinnati; his husband John Arthur died in 2013 of Lou Gehrig’s disease. The couple were married in Maryland just a few months before Arthur died, but their home state of Ohio refused to recognize their marriage, depriving Obergefell of Social Security and disability benefits. However, he told ABC News, the dollar amount in question was tiny (around $255 a month in Social Security benefits). “That was never our driving reason for doing this,” he told ABC News. “It was all about our dignity and the respect we expect from the state we call home.”

It’s a great day, albeit shamefully overdue. Although possibly someone look in on the hugely dramatic Texas pastor who promised to literally light himself on fire if gay marriage was legalized. We are still waiting for that flame.

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