by Max Brantley
The line is open. Finishing up a historic day:
* WHY TODAY'S SAME SEX MARRIAGE RULINGS HAPPENED: I highly recommend this analysis in New York Times of today's Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage, seen as less a product of the gay liberation movement than legal necessity. The decisions were almost inconceivable not very long ago.
People used wills, powers of attorney and innovative new legal arrangements like domestic partnerships and second-parent adoption to try to get around these [various] injustices, an astounding achievement given the reigning conservatism of the ’80s and early ’90s. But for all their virtues, none of these arrangements could provide the Social Security, tax, immigration and other benefits that only marriage could bestow.
The marriage movement emerged out of this maelstrom, but it was always about more than winning the security of legal benefits. Historically, denial of marriage rights has been a powerful symbol of people’s exclusion from full citizenship. Enslaved people in America did not have the right to marry before the Civil War; Jews did not have the right to marry non-Jews in Nazi Germany. In 1948, the United Nations enshrined the freedom to marry as a fundamental human right in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That same year California’s highest court became the first in the nation to overturn a state law banning interracial marriage.
As attitudes toward homosexuality changed in the 1990s, before accelerating ever more rapidly over the last decade, antigay activists — who had already fought gay teachers in schools, gay-student groups, gay characters on TV sitcoms, domestic partnerships and anti-discrimination laws — redoubled their fight against marriage equality.
* AND SPEAKING OF HUMAN RIGHTS, THE HERO OF THE DAY: Our hero Chad Griffin, an Arkansas native who leads the Human Rights Campaign and was instrumental in the California fight against Proposition 8, will speak in Little Rock July 8 as part of the Clinton School lecture series. That's at noon, Monday, July 8.Read about Texas Sen. Wendy Davis, who filibustered the punitive anti-abortion bill in Texas last night. Amazing story. The link includes a good video that I was unable to embed here.
* IN OTHER NEWS: Channel 4 reports another bank robbery, Summit Bank at 1800 N. Taylor in the Heights.