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Wednesday, October 22, 2014  |   Madison, WI: 30.0° F  
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Citizen Dave: Marriage equality and change in America
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U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) stands outside the Supreme Court amidst supporters of marriage equality.
U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison) stands outside the Supreme Court amidst supporters of marriage equality.
Credit:Rep. Mark Pocan

It's a good day to be an American. The Supreme Court of the United States has struck down key provisions of the erroneously titled "Defense of Marriage Act" and it left California alone to restart same sex marriage in that state.

All-in-all it was a solid double up the middle. It could have been a home run if the court had taken the opportunity presented by the California case to strike down all state bans on same sex marriage. Those bans are clearly discriminatory, they hurt society, and someday soon they will be relegated to the ash heap of history where they will join all things "separate but equal."

So, the court could have torn down the wall, but today we'll settle for the holes they punctured in it.

What is becoming apparent in the big picture is that what we have now in America is a conservative minority that is becoming more vociferous as it tries to hold on to the shreds of what was once its dominance.

But the nation is becoming more liberal. Younger Americans have no issue with marriage equality at all. They want us to do something about global climate change and they generally see government in a more positive light. In addition, as black and Hispanic voters grow into more powerful voting blocs, they will begin to overwhelm the shrinking white, conservative minority. Demographics alone will put Georgia, Texas and Arizona in play for the Democratic nominee in the next presidential election.

So, it's not surprising that bat-shit crazies like Michele Bachmann are saying bat-shit crazy stuff. The New York Times quotes a Bachmann press release:

"No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted," Ms. Bachmann said in a statement. "For thousands of years of recorded human history, no society has defended the legal standard of marriage as anything other than between man and woman." She said the court action "will undermine the best interest of children and the best interests of the United States."

Well, Michelle, if I had a God, she wouldn't discriminate against about ten percent of her creation. As for the best interests of children, it has been my observation that the gay parents I know are raising kids who are equally healthy and happy as their straight counterparts.

Speaking for the majority of Americans, Madison's U.S. Representative Mark Pocan, who joined the crowds outside the Supreme Court building this morning, offered an optimistic take in his press release on the decisions:

No more will thousands of loving gay and lesbian couples see their marriage ignored by the federal government, leaving them without the protections opposite-sex married couples enjoy. With 93 million Americans now living in states that recognize same-sex marriages, and 58 percent of the country in favor of marriage equality, we now have the public, the courts and the Constitution on our side.

It was a little troubling that rulings that were clearly so common sense were made on 5-4 votes. That narrowness doesn't begin to express the new liberal consensus that is emerging.

The far right will continue to huff and puff and bluster and moan, but increasingly they'll just be shouting in the wilderness. It's good day to be an American.

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