On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court refused to hear arguments against lower court rulings in favor of same sex marriage. Or to be more precise, many lower courts had determined that laws against same sex marriages were unconstitutional, and by refusing to hear the cases brought against those rulings the Supreme Court has upheld those lower court decisions thereby agreeing that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against the rights of individuals (at least in the case of marriage law). One only needs to listen to the news to hear the backlash from those who are opposed to same sex marriage, and to these people I ask; what is different in your lives this morning?
My newly given right to marry the love of my life, with whom I have shared my hopes, my dreams, my wins, and my losses, for the past 19 years affects us more than you can know ; it affects us more than I could have imagined. In August of 2013 when Bill and I were finally able to celebrate our Civil Union, I was taken aback by my emotions; I had no idea that the ability, at long last, to legally recognize our commitment to each other would be so powerful. The announcement on October 6, 2014 was even more powerful for me, and today, October 7, 2014, I awoke with the knowledge that Bill and I would very soon take one more step in our commitment to each other, and that by doing so we, and many other same sex couples in Colorado and all of the other states who have been changed by the courts decision, may now celebrate one more part of an exercise in humanity which has until now been denied to us. How does that decision affect those who have not been outcast and those who have not been denied the same freedoms as the majority of Americans?
I don’t think that heterosexuals awoke today changed in a negative way by the Supreme Court’s decision; the separation of Church and State in this county has taken a major stride forward, but that separation does not detract from the teachings of or the beliefs of any religious entity, nor does this decision change the value of a heterosexual marriage. The court’s decision removes some legal support of religious objections; however, it is the intent of our constitution to uphold the rights of all of the citizens of this great nation, and not the religious ideology of any of those citizens. On October 6, 2014 we were reminded that our constitution is a living document, and that it will grow as people grow, and it will provide more freedoms as more of society lets go of the need to govern through religious ideology. Let me remind you, we fight against religious extremism in the rest of the world, and we may need to continue to sweep our own sidewalks prior to throwing stones.