A time for joy and a time for justice

Same-sex marriage ruling makes America and Chester County a fairer, better place to live

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

UTMikeColLogoSAN FRANCISCO — On this cool, cloudy Sunday morning, this may well be the happiest place on earth, Disney notwithstanding. Today’s Pride Parade, here, looks to be little short of a city-wide explosion of celebration of Friday’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that same-sex marriage is now legal in all 50 states.

Here, in the City by the Bay, it is the culmination of decades of folks fighting first to be allowed to exist, then to live as they were born, and now finally, to take to heart the simple words written so well and so meaningfully by Thomas Jefferson in Philadelphia in 1776:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Unlike Chester County, though, same-sex marriage has been legal in California for some time. Now, though, finally, an entire segment of our population, our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors can enjoy the same rights, to live, to love and to share their lives. It is that fact that folks here and around the country are celebrating today.

I can think of little better reason to celebrate and hope that rainbow flags are flying from Kennett to Coventry in support of this long overdue change.


Rainbow flags fly near Fishermans Wharf in San Francisco, Saturday.

Personally, I’m not new to the party on this — when I ran for State Representative in 2004, I took the then very unpopular position of advocating for same-sex marriage. Why? It certainly wasn’t an attempt to get votes, as I’m sure it did quite the opposite. What it was then and remains now is a function of two things: justice and logic.

The logic is no more or less compelling now: I argued then that we allow corporations to “marry” in terms of mergers and think nothing of it (although it might be in the public interest to do so, as the 2008 crash proved). Interestingly, after the Citizens United ruling, one might argue that Mobil-Exxon was a same-sex marriage, as both corporations are now legally seen as “people.”

If we don’t care about mega companies merging to become uber-mega companies that are largely above the law, why do we care about whether Sally and Jane get married? Short answer: we shouldn’t be bothered by it in the least.

The justice argument is equally compelling. We have stripped an entire class of people of their civil rights solely because it seemed to offend the religious sensibilities of some. That was, and remains, unconscionable. Like it or not, marriage is a civil function, regulated by government, not some sacred domain of religion. People are free to add whatever spiritual meaning to it they see fit, of course, but all marriages begin and end with government, they are civil, secular and need no religious standard to guide their legitimacy.

Now it is the law of the land.

Today America is a little bit fairer, a little more caring and a better place to live. I am proud that we have finally made this leap ahead.

And for those so blinded by hate, so narrow in thinking that they somehow argue it was wrong for The White House to be colored with the rainbow the other day, I can say on this: I feel sorry for you. I’m sad that you cannot see that this very public joy can and should be shared on the people’s house.

It’s a good day to be in San Fransisco. It’s a great day to be in America.

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One Comment

  1. Ellen Goodson says:

    Same sex marriage does not make any county or town fairer or better. Give me a break. Just because 5 clueless justices decide to make silly assertions that aren’t even in the Constitution does not give same sex “marriage” some kind of respect or elevate it or confer some “right” that they never had before. Marriage has been and always will be between one man and one woman, that is the only marriage I recognize. And I am an atheist so it has nothing to do with religion. Actually government should just get out of the concept of marriage anyway, no special tax breaks at all. And anything legal can be created via a contract.

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