I spent the evening of June 26 (the same date, incidentally, that other landmark LGBT rights cases Lawrence v. Texas and United States v. Windsor were decided) celebrating with the crowds outside the White House, which was lit up rainbow for the occasion. But now, Monday morning has come and I am back on my computer, where I left about a thousand tabs open with articles analyzing the decision. I’ll be doing some of my own analysis later this week, but in the meantime, here’s some good reads…
Reflections on Liberty, Love, and All That Good Stuff
Religion Dispatches looks at the central idea in the decision: That the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection requires protecting the dignity of citizens by allowing all couples access to marriage. Sarah Posner has some harsh words for the dissenting justices who disagreed with this premise: “The notion that the Constitution protects the rights of citizens to equality and dignity appeared lost on them.”
Kennedy’s decision is a deeply poetic ode to marriage, arguing that rather than “redefining” marriage, extending the right to marriage to same-sex couples moves us closer to a sort of platonic ideal of marriage. Zack Ford at Think Progress looks at how Kennedy defines marriage in his decision.
I’ve already shared my thoughts on what’s next for advocates of LGBT rights: Nondiscrimination legislation.
But before that, we might have some more immediate fights on our hands: In Texas, the attorney general is promising legal support for any county clerks who refuse to issue marriage licenses. A bill guaranteeing protections for similar “religious objections” passed over the governor’s veto in North Carolina last month.
I’m not the only one who thinks so. Think Progress shares some great maps showing which states are still lacking basic protection from discrimination for LGBT Americans in employment, housing, education and health care.
How are the conservatives holding up?
It’s a mixed bag.
The Washington Post notes that some evangelicals are using the Supreme Court case to refocus away from culture war issues, quoting Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore: “While this decision will, I believe, ultimately hurt many people and families and civilization itself, the gospel doesn’t need ‘family values’ to flourish. In fact, the church often thrives when it is in sharp contrast to the cultures around it.”
Of course, not everyone wants to go gentle into that gay good night. Over at First Things’ symposium on the decision, several contributors suggested that Christians should focus on modeling appropriately heterosexual marriage, but not everyone was so moderate. Comparisons to the Dred Scott case abounded, and contributors called for everything from Congressional action banning polygamy (lest we head down that slippery slope) to boycotting all gay-marriage-supporting companies (which would be difficult, since that’s a LOT of companies). A Notre Dame professor warns of coming state-sponsored violence against people who oppose gay marriage. So, you know, measured, thoughtful responses.
Don’t feel like reading the decision? Here it is in haiku.
As we all know, with gay marriage legalized the downfall of civilization as we know it is immanent. Here’s a few catastrophic consequences to look out for. For example: “Same-sex marriage is now legal, so clearly it is possible for humans to overturn nature. This opens up a wide variety of problems, given how nature is responsible for everything that keeps the planet running. What if some careless homosexual is struggling with a heavy suitcase and decides to lower the mass of the planet to reduce the strength of gravity?”