I’m going to be torn tomorrow. There are three things which will be vying for my attention: The release of oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the release of Bioshock Infinite, and the scheduled return of my PS3 from Sony’s service center. Let’s hit that first one.
Back in 2006, a great short film about marriage equality was released, entitled “Permission.” This video had quite the effect on me at the time, since 2006 was the same year that the people of Wisconsin eventually passed an amendment prohibiting same-sex marriages. Quite a reversal from a state that throughout it’s history has been one of the most progressive (not liberal, but progressive, there is a difference) in the union. In fact, in 1982 Wisconsin became the first state to provide protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In the time since, 43 rights have been enumerated to “domestic partnerships” in Wisconsin. Granted, this is compared to the over 200 state rights and 1,138 protections provided to heterosexual couples, but I digress.
As we all know, two years later, Californians did the same with their Proposition 8. Tomorrow, at 10:00 AM EDT, the Supreme Court of the United States hears one hour oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case challenging the constitutionality of Prop. 8. On Wednesday, it’s United States v. Windsor, the case regarding DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act. We’ve got a big week ahead of us. I’ve always felt that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment makes the case for marriage equality pretty clear-cut from a Constitutional law standpoint:
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
The debate, and this case, are then about whether or not marriage as it is presently (legally) defined constitutes a “protection of the law.” Anyone who thinks same-sex marriages should be banned on religious grounds need look no further than the first phrase of the First Amendment; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Now United States v. Windsor is a bit more specific, using the Fifth Amendment (you know, the one about due process) and a particular clause in DOMA and I don’t pretend to entirely understand what’s going on. Like I said, it’s a big week. As UCLA School of Law Prof. Adam Winkler put it, “The Prop. 8 case has the potential to be the Brown v. Board of Education for gay rights.” The arguments are supposed to be released tomorrow around 1:00PM EDT. I for one, will be refreshing SCotUS’s website starting about 5 minutes beforehand and then reading/listening.
Yes, I’m a dweeb. Which brings me to my final thought, Bioshock Infinite. My favorite host who survived the Tech TV/G4TV merger, Adam Sessler has posted a YouTube review which just ratcheted up my excitement factor.
Yes please. As for the return of my PS3? I can’t think of much to say about that other than, “Hooray!” Anyways, a little bit about The Song for this blog. I thought this one was particularly appropriate. As Sting explain in the intro, he wrote it about a transsexual, because apparently his songwriting process is weird some times. I felt it appropriate because gender identity is and should be our next big issue is the marriage cases go well.