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  Monday September 1st, 2014    

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A new understanding (07/10/2013)
From: John Rupkey

Winona

In a recent letter, Don Evanson recalls Justice Scalia’s reasoning in his dissent of the ruling that struck down DOMA as unconstitutional under the equal protection clause.

I suppose there is some value in keeping in mind an old way of thinking. Remembering the rejected reasoning of the past can help keep us from repeating it.

However, it is even more important to keep in mind the new understanding which guides the present. In the majority opinion Justice Kennedy wrote the following: “Under DOMA same-sex married couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways. DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal.”

President Obama called DOMA “discrimination enshrined in law.” He said, “It treated loving committed gay and lesbian couples as a separate and lesser class of people. The Supreme Court has righted that wrong, and our country is better off for it.”

For those of us for whom it is self-evident that all persons are created equal, the Supreme Court ruling is good news. For those whose understanding on this issue comes from a foreign place like Rome or the Mideast, the ruling no doubt seems confusing, disturbing and regressive.

Hopefully Justice Scalia is correct in his prediction that the ruling will be used to “attack every state law restricting marriage to its traditional definition.”

It seems to me the next item on the gay agenda of equality in our area is to get rid of the un-American, anti-gay amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution, so that our gay brothers and sisters across the river can become first class citizens.

 

 

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