First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage? Ask The Supremes

The dust has settled after the media frenzy surrounding the Supreme Court hearings on two cases affecting the future of same-sex marriage in the United States. Whew! The gays and gay-friendlies partied. Jon Stewart skewered DOMA and its supporters on Comedy Central. The Republicans tried desperately to find someone – ANYONE – in their party to explain their position on marriage on CNN in a way that the general citizenry wouldn’t characterize as narrow-minded at best or bigoted at worst. That search is ongoing and a generous reward is offered to the finder.

The hearings are over and the rulings expected in June. Eight Associate Justices and the Chief Justice hold the key to opening doors of equality that have been slammed shut since the founding fathers held these truths to be Self-evident in the Declaration of Independence in 1776. “…That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I am amazed to realize I have seen all of these Supremes don the robes of the Court at the end of the required appointment process. Clarence Thomas is the only Southerner. He was born in Georgia and is a Yale law school graduate. He is 64 years old and the only appointee of President George H.W. Bush. His appointment process was ugly, nationally televised and his robes permanently tainted. He is the only Supreme who is African-American.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotamayor and Elena Kagan were all born in New York. Justice Ginsburg is the oldest member of the Court at the ripe age of 80. She is a Columbia law school graduate but studied at Harvard for a time. She was appointed by President Bill Clinton. Chief Justice Roberts was appointed by President George W. Bush and is a Harvard graduate. He is 58 years old. Justice Sotomayor is also 58 years old and is a Yale graduate who was appointed by President Barak Obama. She is the sole Hispanic Supreme. Justice Kagan is another Obama appointee and is 53 years old which makes her the youngest member of the Court. At the time of her appointment she was Dean of the Harvard Law School.

Three other Associate Justices were Harvard law school graduates: Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and Stephen G. Breyer. Both Justices Kennedy and Breyer were born in California and are in the same age brackets. Kennedy is 76 and Breyer is 74, but they had different presidential appointments. President Ronald Reagan appointed Kennedy and President Bill Clinton appointed Breyer. President Reagan also appointed Justice Scalia who was born in New Jersey and is now 77 years old. He is the father of nine children which puts him in a category all by himself on the bench and how he ever had time to be a Supreme is beyond me.

The final Associate Justice Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. shares Scalia’s home state of New Jersey and is the third Yale graduate on the Court. He is 63 years old and was appointed by President George W. Bush.

In summation, Your Honors, I find that the fate of same-sex marriage in the United States in 2013 rests with folks who graduated either from Yale or Harvard law schools and were born in the New York/ New Jersey area on the East Coast or California on the West Coast with one stray Southerner thrown in for good measure. Well, maybe not good measure, but certainly thrown in.

The question before us today is whether this hodgepodge of political appointees will take its place in history as the Court that restores the unalienable rights of a minority of its LGBT citizens who have been made to feel “lesser than” and treated with discrimination that often threatens their Lives and their Liberty and always endangers their pursuit of Happiness.

I respectfully ask the Court to stand and deliver on the promises that have been the hopes and dreams of all Americans for more than two hundred years.

I rest my case.

About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Humor, Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, Random, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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