Supreme Court cases come, Supreme Court cases go but few have such a direct and personal effect on me as the ones being heard today and tomorrow and it is all about me, right? It is a little unnerving to know that men like Justices Scalia and Thomas have a say in whether or not I’m in a legal relationship. According to them being gay is ‘like being roommates,’ or beastiality or murder. FYI: it’s none of those things. Imagine one of them taking part in your nuptials. You say you do, your wife/husband says they do, then you look over to Scalia for the final word.
I’m a married gay man but live in Florida and here in Florida we have ye old Amendment 2, a constitutional ban on gay marriage, not unlike California’s Proposition 8. Amendment 2 combines with DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) to render my New England marriage license legally worth about as much as toilet paper.
This is to protect children. Or the sanctity of marriage. Or something.
On the matter of children, any child is lucky to have one sane, caring adult in their life. Millions do not. If that sane, caring adult is a gay man or woman it is completely irrelevant. That child’s life is already miles ahead of those absent proper guardianship.
Obviously Scalia thinks gay sex is icky. Very icky. I might even say “he doth protest too much.” It’s a known fact that some of homosexuality's most vocal opponents are secretly homosexual themselves. And now I’m going to completely ruin your day with the mental image of justices Scalia, Thomas and Alito all naked and spooning.
I hope you found that image unnerving because I’m unnerved myself. You deserve to be as freaked as I am. There isn’t a simple yes or no answer that will come from these hearings. There are a plethora of possibilities. Fundamental aspects of my life are on the line!
Proposition 8 could be struck down in a wide ruling that would take other gay marriage bans like Florida’s Amendment 2 with it. A more narrow ruling could affect only those states with civil unions, converting those civil unions into full marriages. Another possibility is that the court would deny standing letting the lower court’s findings hold. Or SCOTUS could find that California was not entitled to withdraw a right to same-sex marriage once it had been established by the California Supreme Court. This would strike down Prop 8 but leave other, similar laws alone.
And then there’s DOMA. The court could strike down the law, uphold the law or claim lack of standing leaving the lower court's ruling in place.
Depending on what the court decides it’s possible that I will have marriage rights at the federal level but not the state or at the state level but not the federal. It’s also possible that I will be equal, that we will be equal, the only option that's not a total and complete mess.