The same lack of situational awareness that brought us Cheeto Mussolini to the very very White House is going to bring us the gradual erosions and losses of voting rights, women’s right to choose, and the right for same sex couples to have the same legal protections afforded to heterosexual couples by the legal institutions the State defines as marriage. Many are going to ask themselves how this happened. They’re going to discover that winning isn’t always winning unless the victory comes through understanding and consensus rather than a majority rule. As we’re discovering, being in the majority must be maintained over time in spite of shifting demographics. Small majorities breed simmering resentments that build over time and manifest in ugly ways when they regain control for various periods. It’s the same struggle atheists face with the religious. We can either win them over with reason or eventually outnumber them. Neither outcome is very likely in the short term future.
History does repeat itself. No clearer example presents itself than the State by State “in the trenches” warfare the religious have waged against abortion. And they’re winning. All over the US, access to legal abortion for the poor is being reduced. [A quick footnote: The wealthy never lose access to abortion even when they publicly oppose it, because it’s just a quick flight to the “health spa” in places that actually have policies that comport with the 21st century. If they were forced to live by the same rules they impose on others, the world might look quite different.]
I suggest we are living in a growing shadow apartheid State. The shackles just aren’t that obvious yet. The poor and disposessed are joining ethnic people in State sanctioned mechanisms used to lend the appearance of legitimacy to what white America calls “correcting unacceptable social ills” like “LAW and ORDER”, “THE WAR ON DRUGS” and coming soon to a State near you, the criminalization of debt and poverty. Mass incarcerations and asset forfeitures are on the rise. People who aren’t compliant and useful to consumer driven Capitalism will find themselves in debtors prison. Go to prison, lose your vote. Those that think this isn’t already in motion should have a look around you.
All of which brings me to the fine State of Texas, home of religiously inspired policies like dead women being used as incubators for unviable fetuses. And if there’s one thing they can’t stand, its the gay assault on the bronze age death cults notion that marriage is a religious institution for heteros only.
This from Salon recently:
If the court were to rule against same-sex couples, it would prevent city employees — such as firefighters, sanitation workers, and librarians — from adding their legally wedded spouses to insurance. Jessica Jones is the wife of a police officer in Collin County, located on the outskirts of Dallas. Jones, 29, works for a children’s advocacy center that doesn’t offer benefits to employees. An unfavorable decision would remove her from her wife’s insurance. The couple are raising two children together and are planning to have another child through artificial insemination. If Jones carries the baby, the child would be uninsured.
…chipping away at marriage benefits for same-sex couples is the exact same political maneuver the right-wing accused liberals of doing for decades — pushing a political agenda through the court system. The council member called it “hypocrisy.”
“When the judiciary affirms civil rights in a way that the GOP does not like, they call it ‘judicial activism,’” he said. “When the judiciary affirms things they do like, it’s just fairness.”
But Ken Upton, Senior Counsel at Lambda Legal, believes that the legal team behind the case has more than benefits for same-sex couples in Texas on its mind. Jared Woodfill and Jonathan Saenz, the attorneys representing the Houston complainants, are aligned with some of the most consistently anti-LGBT forces in the state. Saenz is the President of Texas Values, a right-wing organization that believes “homosexual marriage [is] waging war on marriage.” Woodfill was the spokesperson for the campaign to repeal Houston’s nondiscrimination ordinance in 2015, which falsely portrayed trans people as dangerous predators targeting young girls.
Upton explained that the ultimate goal of Woodfill and Saenz is to get Pidgeon v. Turner in front of the Supreme Court. If Texas judges decide in favor of the petitioners, there’s likely to be an immediate stay on the ruling, which would require further action from SCOTUS. And if Texas upholds same-sex benefits, the complainants would have the ability to appeal that decision. The latter scenario has become more enticing with the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, a conservative Constitutionalist, to the nation’s highest court.
Woodfill told the Texas Tribune that “given the changing composition” of SCOTUS, he believes the court — especially if more spots on the bench open up — could reverse its earlier decision on marriage equality. “Ultimately, I would like to see Obergefell overturned,” he said.
There you have it. Queers can stay involved or end up back in the closet and worse. I’ve lived the worse and I’m not anxious to go back to it.