I am a proponent of equality for everyone and was a happy to hear that the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 was overturned by the Supreme Court. Now, same sex couples in California and other states will be able to marry and receive spousal benefits. My brother was gay and lived with his partner for 20 years before he died. I thought of him when I heard the ruling. He would have been thrilled and could have certainly used the spousal benefits before he died. He and Robert loved each other and even as a small child, I understand that. Love is love, and that is how I have always felt. It is not for me or anyone for that matter to judge whether love can only be between a man and a woman. That is for a Higher Power. Until everyone has equality, none of us are free.
Having said that we not fall asleep at the wheel concerning other rights. While proponents achieved victory, voting rights suffered a defeat that that may have far-reaching repercussions for minorities, particularly African-Americans. It took much toil and strife to get the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to pass. In 2006, former President George Bush signed the reauthorization but last Wednesday’s decision by the Supreme Court gives states more powere to make their own legislation regarding voting laws such as voter identification which will exclude many voters who are currently provided protection under the federal government legislation. This harkens back to the civil right era of unfair poll taxes and literacy tests and other ridiculous laws used to keep African-Americans from voting.
Please, please, keep your eyes open, don’t fall asleep, because when you wake up, you just might find that your rights are gone too. No one is free, unless we are all free.