Judge Terrence Kern just handed down a pretty tough cheese to swallow for the state of Oklahoma: their ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional. And Kern didn’t do this with language that could be called coddling. Speaking of the plaintiffs, Kern said:
“The Bishop couple has been in a loving, committed relationships for many years,” the judge said. “They own property together, wish to retire together, wish to make medical decisions for one another, and wish to be recognized as a married couple with all its attendant rights and responsibilities.”
But Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment “excludes the Bishop couple, and all otherwise eligible same-sex couples, from this privilege without a legally sufficient justification,” Kern said.
Kern continued on with a message for the citizens of Oklahoma:
In striking down Oklahoma’s ban on same-sex marriage, U.S. District Judge Terrence Kern described it as “an arbitrary, irrational exclusion of just one class of Oklahoma citizens from a governmental benefit.”
“Equal protection is at the very heart of our legal system and central to our consent to be governed,” Kern’s 68-page decision says. “It is not a scarce commodity to be meted out begrudgingly or in short portions. Therefore, the majority view in Oklahoma must give way to individual constitutional rights.”
BOOM! If the will of the majority is in opposition to liberty and equality, the majority mustn’t get its way. If the majority wanted to tell Christians they couldn’t marry another Christian, or if the majority in Oklahoma wanted to incarcerate any foreigners, that is only reason to believe that the majority in Oklahoma is lacking in moral sense, not a reason to indulge their lack of compassion.
Here’s the deal: marriage equality is coming. The majority made bigots by their faith are going to lose this fight as humanity moves further away from the outdated (and inhuman) religious mores of the bible. This is not a battle I intend to win with grace. No, the of schadenfreude in this case is simply too tantalizing for me to resist. I want to savor every anguished, impotent, privileged moan knowing that it will never come close to the pain their discrimination has inflicted on LGBT people, but satisfied that for a moment the universe seems fair because bigotry, though rewarded within the halls of churches, has become uncomfortable everywhere else.
I want to watch the tantrums as every Christian who feels they get to decide who other adults love don’t get their way. I want to relish them insisting that not getting their way will result in the fall of America, or that not getting to squash the love of their neighbors amounts to discrimination against Christians. I want to pick the fruits of their cruel ignorance and bake them into a delicious desert.
And I will. Starting with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin:
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin issued a statement saying she was “disappointed” in Kern’s ruling and noted that Oklahoma’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage passed with 75 percent support in 2004.
“The people of Oklahoma have spoken on this issue,” Fallin said in the statement. “I support the right of Oklahoma’s voters to govern themselves on this and other policy matters. I am disappointed in the judge’s ruling and troubled that the will of the people has once again been ignored by the federal government.”
The will of the people flew in the face of everything for which America stands. It was contemptuous of equality. Cruelty is cruelty whether it’s wielded by a single person or by 75% of the population. It is cruelty independent of whether the people meting it out wear crosses around their necks. In American you don’t get to shackle the autonomy of your neighbors for no good reason no matter how many of you there are.
The backward-ass homophobic states who flipped the bird at LGBTs by passing “marriage between man-woman” laws opened the door for court cases to have the laws declared invalid. Those who did nothing did not open that door. The haters fucked themselves.
GOP reps in Oklahoma felt that OK should be able to ignore the Constitution because…that’s what states can do, apparently.
In statements issued late Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Markwayne Mullin and Jim Bridenstine both were opposed to Kern’s decision. Mullin called it “disappointing” and “unfortunate.”
“Our constitution protects the sovereignty of states, and with today’s ruling, that right has clearly been violated,” said Mullin, a Republican who represents Oklahoma’s 2nd District. Oklahomans overwhelmingly “voted nearly a decade ago to define in our state’s constitution that marriage is between one man and one woman. Unfortunately we have yet again witnessed the voices of the governed being disregarded.”
Why even have documents and laws governing the entire country then if states can elect to ignore them?
Bridenstine, who represents the 1st District, which includes Tulsa, said Kern didn’t follow the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, “which recognizes that powers not delegated to the federal government are retained by the states and the people.”
Bridenstine went on to say that “a federal judge has no place to dictate the terms of marriage in Oklahoma. The state constitution overrides a federal judge’s personal opinion.”
The federal judge’s personal opinion, as if Kern didn’t have other rulings and judicial precedents behind him. Here comes the spin machine to insist Kern’s decision was personal, and not Constitutionally sound. Sour grapes on their part, which are like the most scrumptious wine to my taste.
Kick and thrash, cry and moan, weep that baby Jesus doesn’t get to rule the love lives of those who have not submitted to be ruled by your church. Gnash your teeth, all you self-proclaimed patriots as you realize that in America the bible carries less weight than the Constitution. Don’t stop. I will watch with glee, already satisfied that equality for LGBT people cannot be turned back at this point, but even more elated that the cruel men and women who would attempt to crush the love of others in the name of Jesus receive a pittance of the grief they’ve caused in return. It’s not enough to make up for what they’ve done, and it won’t be enough to spark empathy in most of them, but it will do for me.
EDIT: If you are like me and wish to delight in the ill-informed wailing of Christians who are incensed they cannot force other to conform to their arbitrary religious rules, read through the comments at Public Catholic (a blog here on Patheos by an Oklahoma Representative). It’s just delicious.