The often discriminatory and myopic views of some evangelicals and the rallying cries for progress and equality from the LGBTQ community and their straight allies have led us to this pivotal point in our nation’s history.
The Supreme Court will decide the constitutionality of same-sex marriage and the ripple effect will inevitably shape policy and society for generations to come. And as a cisgender, heterosexual Black woman, I could not be more thrilled. The federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 are malignant tumors choking society’s evolution and it is past time that we pull them out at the root.
In a society where “no homo” and “pause” are considered homophobic-lite, and, in the words of Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, “sexual rednecks” attempt to restrict the LGBTQ to permanent underclass status, the hijacking of the law to legislate morality has paved the way for reductive and disingenuous dialogue. Biased rhetoric framed around Christianity — and the arrogant assumption that this country’s moral compass should be guided by subjective religious scriptures — have clouded the concrete facts.
This is not about who one prays to in the morning or sleeps with at night, it’s about the simple fact that as tax-paying citizens of this country, the LGBTQ community has the unalienable right to marry.
And they have the right to call it marriage.
And the Christian church does not, or rather should not, dictate national policy.
No disability, ethnicity, gender, creed or sexual orientation should create a barrier between tax-paying citizens of this country and equality. If the LGBTQ community is “allowed” to die oversees for this country, then they damn sure have the right to be married in it.
In response to Attorney Charles Cooper arguing against marriage equality in the state of California, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked a simple question that encapsulates the core of debate:
Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits? Or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other decision-making that the government could make — denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision?
Cooper, clearly struggling with whether or not to continue his erroneous argument or admit that he actually did understand the law, crumbled beneath the question.
“Your Honor, I cannot,” Cooper said. “I, I do not have, uh, uh, any, uh, anything to offer you in that regard.”
“If they’re a class that makes any other discrimination improper, irrational, then why aren’t we treating them as a class for this one benefit?” Sotomayor then asked.
Why, indeed. The answer is subjective morality of the religious class and that has no place in an individual’s rights and freedom.
See exchange below:
The place is here and the time is now for the end of sanctimonious, self-righteous, condescending bullsh*t masquerading as morality. Discrimination in any form must no longer be protected by bigoted, legal (mis) interpretations. Just as miscegenation laws were ruled unconstitutional, just as Black people had to legally be declared completely human and not 3/5ths, this country is experiencing history in the making. It might not be your fight, but it is a legitimate, necessary fight that is one step closer to being won.
In the words of the revolutionary Huey P. Newton:
“Whatever your personal opinions and your insecurities about homosexuality and the various liberation movements among homosexuals and women (and I speak of the homosexuals and women as oppressed groups), we should try to unite with them in a revolutionary fashion.
We must gain security in ourselves and therefore have respect and feelings for all oppressed people. We must not use the racist attitude that the White racists use against our people because they are Black and poor.
Homosexuals are not enemies of the people.
No, they are not enemies of the people; they are the people. We. The. People. And justice for any of us, is justice for all of us.
It is time.
Follow Kirsten West Savali on Twitter at @KWestSavali.