Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

week of sweeping change

The week brought major United States Supreme Court decisions , perhaps the most decisively important decisions since Bush v. Gore. The decision upholding the Affordable Care Act from a challenge based on one section of the act impressed me, as Chief Justice Roberts put aside partisanship and engaged in standard statutory construction. The decision that fair housing cases may be proven through disparate impact rather than merely disparate treatment made that area of the law a bit clearer. The decision finding a constitutional right to marriage equality completes a progression in the law begun years ago. I read diatribes grumbling about the justices similar to those issued when the 1960s United States Supreme Court took steps to implement its decision on school desegregation. Then folks quoted scripture to argue that it was pre-ordained that racial segregation be enshrined as an institution. Now folks quote scripture to argue that roughly ten percent of the population should be denied the right to a civil marriage. I personally look to the Good Samaritan and the Golden Rule for inspiration,and find in them nothing to require a denial of civil marriage to ten percent of the population.

When I was a teen, I thought a bit differently about how the laws should work on this point. Even in recent years, I thought perhaps civil union would avoid a lot of heated angst. But then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints church went out of its way to spend money and effort (see this Mormon Newsroom piece) in California to pass Proposition 8. I like a lot of things about the LDS church, but extreme political activism to achieve a legislative end by referendum did not sit well with me. This extreme effort to deny a civil marriage seemed to me an imposition of religious values by legislative fiat. Then I came to favor marriage equality, rather than merely civil unions which grant equality in everything but name.

The decision this week was a close one, but reaffirmed one thing I believe about our Constitution. I believe that it is not mired in the attitudes and prejudices of the 18th and 19th Centuries, but instead lives and breathes and is interpreted by women and men who live in later times with later perspectives.

This morning I put Puppy Linux on a laptop via USB stick and got it working well. Tonight I tried to install it to the hard drive, and it did not take. But so it goes.

I saw cottontail rabbits lounging around. I ate dinner at Pollo Tropical. I am getting into non-ideal positions in my postal chess, but it is all fun. I love to learn.

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