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Gay Lives Matter: On the recent Supreme Court ruling


To my dear cousin Alan:

I know that your experiences in Vietnam, and getting spat on when you came back, have underscored your political beliefs. I have enormous respect for what you did and for how you arrived at many of your conservative views. At the same time, it’s important that you know that my experiences growing up gay in this homophobic country have been just as traumatizing, for me, as your experiences with the far left have been for you. This experience explains why I could never possibly shift my allegiance from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, as you’ve been encouraging me to do. They say “Pick your poison.” Well, I’m the first to admit—as I did to you the other day—that there’s plenty wrong with the Democratic Party. But it was the Democratic Party that gave me the right to marry someone of my own gender; and the right to serve openly and proudly in our great military; and it was the four Democrats on the Supreme Court, just yesterday, that gave me and all other gay people the right not to be fired from our jobs, just for being what we are.

* * *

Somewhat lost in the glare of the recent George Floyd protests has been the ongoing struggle of gay Americans for equal rights. The Supreme Court, with the support of two Republican Justices, Gorsuch and Roberts, just handed down one of the greatest gay victories in memory: they ruled that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBT people from being discriminated against in employment.

The word “landmark” isn’t used all that often for Supreme Court decisions, but it is surely appropriate in this case. As Justice Gorsuch (a Trump appointee) noted, “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex.” In other words, if Dan is in love with Adam, Dan can be fired by a bigoted (usually Christian) boss, but if Dan is in love with Alice, he can’t be. The ridiculousness of that reasoning needs no explanation; it goes against common sense, the American way, basic fairness and, now, the law.

Of course, those facts didn’t stop the Court’s three remaining homophobes, Thomas, Alito and Kavanaugh, from dissenting. I think we all knew where Kavanaugh was coming from when we saw him in his confirmation hearings: angry, petulant, deceitful and violent. Just what we don’t want a judge to be. His past history of sexual abuse had been unmasked for all the world to see, and Kavanaugh was pissed. He promised Democrats that “What goes around, comes around,” a clear threat to all Democratic constituencies that his vengeance knows no bounds, and he’s going to misuse his power to hurt minorities.

Alito has consistently voted the Vatican line on every case that offends his Catholic sensibilities, and he did it again this time. As for Thomas, well, what can one say? This man is a vicious homophobe; to this day, he insists that Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court case that legalized gay marriage, should be overturned. Someone should remind him that U.S. laws also once prohibited Black-White intermarriage (Thomas is married to a white woman).

Maybe Clarence wishes that Brown v. Board of Education should also be overturned. How amazing and fantastic it is that a Black man should have such hatred of, and contempt for, another oppressed minority group. Thomas’s mental state is a case for the psychiatrist’s couch, not the blogger’s musings, so let’s move on.

Trump of course is furious that “his” Republican judges had the temerity to insist on Justice for gay Americans. But then, he’s furious about a lot of things these days. Everything is turning against him. His attempts to make believe he cares about Black people are treated as a joke, even on the right. His polls are tanking. Biden consistently beats him in the polls, including in swing states. Then there was the unwelcome news that the lovely Melania re-negotiated her prenup agreement before moving into the White House. That led to speculation—already hot and heavy—that she’ll divorce him as soon as he’s thrown out of office. Well, I hope Melania has her divorce lawyers all lined up, because they’re going to get busy on, say, Jan. 22, 2021.

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