The Great debate ensued by the recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Same Sex Marriage

#SCOTUS        Landmark LGBT Ruling

Courage doesn’t come without controversy and the fight for LGBT Rights is no different. But first further evidence like the American public and President Obama has evolved on this issue. For instance, in 1996 65% of the American public opposed Gay Marriage with 27% support and in 2014 54% of Americans support gay marriage while 39% oppose it (Pew Research, 2014). Moreover, in another study conducted by Pew research in 2015 shows that majority of the Americans support Gay Marriage; 57% support and 39% oppose. Justice Kennedy spoke of the fact that; the nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in our own times. However, the generations that wrote and ratified the Bill of Rights and the Fourteenth Amendment did not presume to know the extent of freedom in all of its dimensions, and so they entrusted to future generations a charter protecting the right of all persons to enjoy liberty as we learn its meaning. So in other words, laws as we know must adjust to social change and in Law you know it is always changing. We’ve noticed this in regards to Civil Rights 1964 and Voting rights Acts 1965 and the Brown vs Board of Education Topeka 1954 which ended racial discrimination/segregation and the infamous “Jim crow” Laws that were institutionalized in so many States.

Furthermore, no one should use the bible to suppress the rights of the LGBT community just as it was used to suppress the rights of African Americans. Throughout America’s history again and again the bible was cited to justify slavery and discrimination and laws against inter-racial marriage and there are plenty examples of this. Now some people will want to argue that you can’t equate civil rights movement to that of GAY Rights movement.  First of all Martin Luther King borrowed heavily from Mohandas k Gandhi. King borrowed the language, the system and the structure of resistance systematically to oppression from Ghandi and applied it to the American scene. Thus, Black people DO NOT have a copyright on Civil Rights insurgence or resistance.

Furthermore, we should as individual of the 21st century stand against incivility and civil rights injustices in our time. This is a fight about what we think is right or wrong just to be sure, but, we must not use the bible to create more enemies of the faith, but, instead use our faith to identify with those who are the least lost and the lonely. My Bible tells me that Jesus said; “you should love the lord with all thine heart, mind and soul and love thy neighbors like thyself and there are no “asterisks” on what Jesus said. Such as; except GAY People, Except Lesbian people, or except Transgender or bi-sexual people. The great preacher Mr. Howard Thurman said; “A bigot is a person who makes an idol of his or her commitments”. Thus, Christians must be deeply enrooted in their faith and not in bigotry. Furthermore, do we want to become sexual “Red Necks” by extending the same trajectory of transgression and tragic suppression of the beliefs of LGBTs?

Also another important fact; it was an African American Openly GAY activist who was the architect behind Martin Luther King Jr. Washington March by name of “Bayard Rustin”. It is easy sometimes to get immense in embedded narrow views resulting in a misapplication of analogies. The fact that some people are talking about isolated cases in which one perceived as GAYs bending the rules and or somehow the Laws favors them is to predetermine that somehow this is pathological and outside the scope of normal morality. For instance, we see that ‘White Privileges” still exist in America, but, yet still racism have ended. Some may attempt to argue on constitution overstepping and crossing the lines of Human Rights. For instance, why should there be a constitutional guarantee for GAY Rights? Which impede on other people’s Rights? So let me ask you this; A Racist bigot will say the same thing in reference to the Voting Rights Act (1965 and the Civil Rights Act (1964) why should the constitution guarantee fundamental human rights for Blacks which impedes on my Religious rights? (The White Supremacy will say).

All Human Beings are born free with inalienable rights without distinction to “inter allia” race, sex, color, sexual orientation. Thus, it is just to make sure that all Human Beings fundamental human rights are protected by Law. In order for a Right to be “justiciable” it must be embedded within the vines of the Law.  For instance, Slavery had been tactically protected in the original constitution through clause such as; Three-Fifth compromise. It was not until the 13th amendment that abolished slavery in 1864. Even though slavery was already abolished by then president Lincoln 1863 emancipation proclamation.

In addition, in 1965 & 64 Congress passed the Voting & Civil Rights Act, which unequivocally became a critical marker in African-American history. Given opportunity, black Americans voted and stood for office in numbers not seen since the collapse of Reconstruction almost 100 years earlier. As a result, African American soon occupied positions that had been exclusively preserve to white men for more than half a century. So yes many changes had to be made when African American rights became “justiciable” liken to what we are seeing now with the LGBT Community.

Definition:

As it relates to changing definitions; some people will take this stand quite literally negating the languages of the Law. A law or an Act places a definition of something and I see no difference in amending a social entity which was once define to fit into a society of its time. Let’s take another example, in one of George Beckford books in which he speaks of the “plantation Society” under the topic of the family; He speaks of the definition of family and you will noticed that some scholars, those of European descent strictly defines family as one which; both responsible adults must be married and involve a child/children. In other words, the true definition of family is one of “Nuclear family”. However, such definition didn’t take into account social fabrics and changes especially that of African descent. George Beckford highlighted that you had other types of families such as the extended family and as society evolved we later saw the “sibling family”. Albeit, the European scholars excoriated this notion and hold dear to their beliefs of one true definition of family. Today, many Black Families wouldn’t have been qualified by an old definition perhaps fitted for its time.

Many hold the view that the definition of “Marriage” have not changed, albeit there are evidence that this is simply not the case, but, I understand where they are coming from on this one. However, this is where the confusion sets in; those of Christian faith (as if the rest of us are not, simply because we don’t believe in pushing our beliefs on others) will tell you that a Marriage defined by a matrimony between a Man & a Woman and I agree. But the in the Book of Exodus 20: 10 states that; “a man can marry an infinite amount of women without any limits to how many he can marry”. In Chronicles 11:21, King Solomon’s son Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines. This to me smells of “Polygamy” and the last time I checked it is illegal and also justly wrong is it not?

We cannot simply cherry pick scriptures to justify one’s position all the time. I mean yes the Bible said that; “If a man lays with another man he shall be put to death, but, it also says that if a child is obedient to their parent they shall be put to death too and I am sure civil minds will not agree with the latter (including Christians).

The Oregon case;

This case is used by many to justify the unravelling of civility and or GAYs are beginning to bend the rules. However, the Oregon case has little to do with simply a religious couple refusing to bake a cake for a GAY couple because of their beliefs. Rather, In the Case of Oregon; in accordance with the Laws of the said state a business can’t refuse to provide service to a person based on that person’s “race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age.” Oregon’s law makes exceptions for entities like churches and religious schools, but not for individual beliefs of business owners. Also, the Bureau’s spokesman Charlie Burr said; “the bakery is not a RELIGIOUS INSTITUTION under the LAW.” Oregon, like many other states, including New Mexico (where a wedding photographer ran afoul of the law by refusing to photograph a same-sex wedding), prohibits many kinds of discrimination in places of public accommodation; that is, private businesses that make their services available to the general public.

In closing, I will say that I do recognize the concerns of the “Religious society” and the recent ruling of the Supreme Court allowing Same Sex marriage nationwide may embolden some extremism behavior from some. I know that there are differences on Same Sex Marriage, but, surely we can agree that people from the LGBT Community deserves to visit the person they love in the Hospital and live a life free of discrimination in the United States of America.

#HumanRightsForAll                                                                                                                   Emmanuel Quashie

Advertisements

One thought on “The Great debate ensued by the recent U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Same Sex Marriage

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s