As being reported everywhere, the Supreme Court of the United States has, in a 5-4 ruling, declared marriage between consenting adults a civil right that cannot be infringed upon. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority:
“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. It is so ordered”
Yes, there are four justices who still have their heads up their asses, but we’re not going to dwell upon them today. Today we finally get to stop talking about gay and straight and just talk about marriage.
The Washington Blade reports that, in a statement released by the Whitehouse upon request, White House spokesperson Shin Inouye relayed:
“The President believes the Boy Scouts is a valuable organization that has helped educate and build character in American boys for more than a century. He also opposes discrimination in all forms, and as such opposes this policy that discriminates on basis of sexual orientation.”
We applaud this clear-and-direct statement from the White House on such a divisive issue, especially coming as it does in a very touch election cycle. (We also assume that the President’s feelings also include atheists, another group that the Boy Scouts discriminate against.) Unfortunately the President didn’t take the obvious next step and reject his traditional, honorary position as President of the Boy Scouts of America so we can only call this baby-steps; but at least they’re steps in the right direction.
The Boston Herald reports that Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has vowed to make it as difficult as possible for Chick-fil-A to expand its empire into Beantown due to its anti-gay position. After many years of offering corporate financial support to anti-gay rights organizations (as reported by EqualityMatters.org) the corporation recently made headlines when its president, Dan Cathy, repeatedly confirmed thier stance against gay marriage. During a radio interview Cathy said:
“We’re inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at him and say we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage. And I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude that thinks we have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about.”
Menino has made his position on the matter completely clear to The Herald:
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston. You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion. That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.” He continued: “If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult — unless they open up their policies.”
Menino is serving his 19th year as Mayor of Boston: he knows how the political game is played and yet has taken a passionate, no-compromise stance on this hot-button issue. We also praise him for saying, even in this economy, that he will accept the financial consequences of turning away corporations when he disagrees with their ethics. We can only applaud him (and must admit, after living in Boston for 15 years then leaving 6 years ago, we kind of miss the big, mumbling lug).
We need to be clear however: it’s very unlikely that the Mayor has any actual power to stop this business from joining his community. In fact we’d bet that any serious attempt to try is very likely actionable and would, reluctantly, have to support Chick-fil-A’s rights in the matter.