DOMA is Dust!
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that legally married same-sex couples should get the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples.
The court invalidated a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act that has prevented married gay couples from receiving a range of tax, health and retirement benefits that are generally available to married people. The vote was 5-4. (source)
Don’t Mess With Texas!
Texas anti-choice bill declared dead. It came after a long and nerve-wracking night, after the Republicans literally tried to win by cheating while thousands of people watched. It came thanks to an epic filibuster by hero state Senator Wendy Davis, an amazing take-down by state Senator Leticia Van de Putte, and, above all, the truly inspiring commitment of hundreds of pro-choice Texan activists. (source)
This is a great day and we should celebrate all victories over oppression, hate and inequality, but remember, this is America and we will have to continue to fight and to be vigilant.
I hear rumblings that the GOP legislators in Texas are going to continue their fight to strip rights and choices and autonomy of body and self from women. That state Senator Wendy Davis will have to filibuster for all our lives again and again and again.
Things that interest me highly:
I want to know more about the demographics of the protesters in Texas. I want to think that women banded together across party lines to stop injustices from being put into law. I want to think that women are tired of the men-only senators and panels dictating laws and policies on not only private and personal issues, but over the domain of Where Women Should Have a Say if not The Final Say.
In the things I did read, I saw these two words being bandied about a lot by male legislators: “Unborn Child”.
Let me tell you something that might come as a shock to you Mr. Male Legislator. Children do not stay unborn. They are born, and become infants, toddlers, school kids, tweens, teens and finally into adult human beings.
In every other stage of life I see these same male legislators doing everything they can to take away support, deny education, interfere with health care, take away financial support from the parents, etc the list goes on and on.
The second I see their political policies, laws and efforts line up all the way across the board, that means from inside the womb until legal adulthood, I’ll start listening and believing that they actually do care about the lives of children. Because everything else they do shows me loud and clear, and on the public track record, that they simply do not.
Taking away a woman’s right to choose or to not choose the safe and legal option of abortion has nothing to do with saving “unborn children”, but everything to do with the oppression of women. I know this because these same people do whatever they can to deny women access to contraception. The prevention of unwanted pregnancies should be first and foremost in their legislative efforts, but it is not. In fact they do the opposite.
They also advocate for the shutting down of Planned Parenthood. I’ve written SO DAMN MUCH about what PP actually does. Their name says it all. They help women and men to plan how they will become parents and raise their families.
Estimated number of unintended pregnancies averted by Planned Parenthood contraceptive services each year: 486,000.
Planned Parenthood is the only place where millions of women and their families can afford to get health care. Because, first and foremost PP is all about health care. Click that link from the previous paragraph if you don’t actually know the cold hard facts.
Cries for defunding of Planned Parenthood doesn’t even touch on the 3% of their services that provide safe and legal abortions. Federal funds are by law not available for that use, and PP abides by those laws. Shutting down clinics takes away health care services from the very same children the legislators purport to care about so much.
Estimated number of abortions averted by Planned Parenthood contraceptive services each year: 204,000.
With information like this readily available, and always brought forth in these fights for our rights, I can only come to the conclusion that “Unborn Child” is simply political rhetoric, and is bandied about to further agendas, and not because there is an actual care for the reality of what it takes to care for, pay for, nurture and raise children in this country.
Support happy, healthy families full of healthy, happy wanted children. Support the entities, programs and facilities that do those things. Show me you care about Born Children too. Then we can talk.
On DOMA being ixnayed:
I have seen a lot of people exhorting “fellow Christians” to get upset about the equal treatment of all marriages under the laws of this country. I’m sorry to see that sort of thing happening out there.
I would remind those people that “holy matrimony” and “marriage in America” has always been two different things. You can get married in a church, temple, mosque, in front of God and everybody, but the simple fact of the matter is this:
If you do not sign documents and certificates and submit them to the court of law, whatever ceremony you just did is not considered a Legal Marriage.
Marriage in America is a legal institution. What happened with SCOTUS was to make everyone have the same legal rights and privileges of the marriage license and contract under the law.
As an American – Christian or otherwise – you should be jumping for JOY because equality has always been what this country is about, right? It is written in our founding documents. Yes, I am well aware that slave owners wrote down those words of equality while my great great great grandmother was still in chains, but irony aside: that whole equality thing is a very American thing.
Get over it.
Get with the new paradigm and stop showing your hypocrisy and bigotry and hop on board the Equality Bandwagon.
And SCOTUS, don’t think I didn’t NOTICE what you did to the Voting Rights Act. Shame on you! Yes we strive for equality for all Americans, but we are far from being there.
To use the advent of our first Black president to illustrate that Black people in America are doing just fine and don’t need any more legal help when it comes to things like voting…
I think you should have waited until the maybe perhaps the third or fourth Black president, before singing kumbaya and gutting the VRA. Barack Obama is the exception not the rule. He is an anomaly at best, and frankly, it was WHITE American voters who brought him into office both times, if you want to keep it real. In 2008 by backing him in unprecedented numbers, and in 2012 by staying home and refusing to vote at all in unprecedented numbers.
We still need voter protection. Just look at what happened:
Moreover, less than two hours after the ruling, Texas announced plans to implement a redistricting measure and the most stringent voter ID in the country.
“Two hours! They couldn’t even wait for two hours. It takes Texas less time to disenfranchise minority voters than it takes for them to barbecue a pig.” (source).
See what I mean? I foresee other red states and some blue states doing the exact same thing. Thanks SCOTUS. Sometimes you do the right thing, and other times you totally suck.
My twofold cup of happiness has bitter dregs.