Saturday, March 22, 2014


A Michigan family
The ban against same-sex marriage in Michigan has been shot down.  Two women in their fifties have gotten married in the grand state of Michigan.  I’m not being cute by revealing their ages.  It’s significant that they have been waiting twenty-seven years to do this.

And I waited all day yesterday for the decision in Michigan.  I was afraid it was going to be another “Yes, but…” decision.  Yes, it’s wrong to discriminate against gay people, but if that’s what the good citizens the state want, that’s the way it goes.  “It’s wrong, and unconstitutional, and yes, we should overthrow it, but we don’t have to do all this overnight!  We can give people time to get used to the idea.”

That line of thought has always bothered me.  I understand politics must be practical.  I also think there is some wisdom to getting as many people as possible behind the same-sex marriage idea before launching into a new social practice.  It cuts down on the chance of a backlash.  But if you’re on the receiving end of this justice delayed, it feels for all the world like justice denied.  And you get real tired, I can tell you, of listening to people tell you why they think they can do this to you.

How refreshing that Judge Friedman, who announced his decision today, did not then turn around, as others have done before him, and stay his own ruling so that people could “catch up with the sea change.”  He made a clear and unequivocal statement – discrimination against gays and lesbians is wrong and they/we should not have to live with it another day.  He left it for others to do the dirty work of delay.

Glenna DeJong and Marsha Caspar
Friedman took the same line of reasoning as fellow judges in Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah before him.  When the Supreme Court threw out DOMA, with it went the reasoning that discrimination against LGBT people is justified, and the same law that prohibits interracial marriage should apply here.     To be sure, the state’s Attorney General was ready to do the dirty work of flinging a spanner into the works and applied with the Federal Appeals Court in Cincinnati for a delay.  But it will take time to process that request, and in the meantime Glenna DeJong and Marsha Caspar of Lansing are married and the three kids in the picture above, if all goes well, will soon be able to say the same thing about their mommies.

Where did I leave my champagne glass?

Also right up there with the immense satisfaction that comes with noting that rights have been extended now to an 18th state of the Union comes the satisfaction of hearing Judge Friedman express his views on the Regnerus study.  You remember Mark Regnerus, of the University of Texas.  Put out the most astonishingly badly constructed study, clearly manufactured to demonstrate the views of the religious right that gays and lesbians make bad parents.  The American Sociological Association and others, including Regnerus’s own colleagues at Texas spoke out against the study, but the right kept on touting it as “evidence” that gay people make bad parents.  And then, building on that false premise, made a clumsy leap of logic and claimed that because they don’t make good parents they shouldn’t be allowed to marry at all.  Because only people with kids should marry?

Risk of brain damage has been lessened all over the country now that people can stop slapping their foreheads in disbelief that this shill for the religious right, thinking he was doing the Lord’s work, was taken seriously as an academic.

Two reasons for champagne. 

I only really needed one, but two, as I say, is nice.

picture credits: 

AP photo of a Michigan family - April DeBoer, Jayne Rouse, and their three kids, Ryanne, Jacob and Nolan - Time Magazine 

DeJong and Caspar: Rick Pluta/Twitter Photo from 

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