Reactions to Supreme Court Ruling
By Rachel Holm
On June 26, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that state bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, prompting an infantile and unsurprising but ultimately incorrect from some of Texas’s most whiny leaders.
No, Governor Abbott, this decision is not an infringement on an individual’s rights to freedom of religious expression. The right of the people to bigotry shall not perish from the earth. What this ruling will provide is the issue of marriage licenses to same-sex couples on behalf of the state. Incidentally, these licenses will be handled by humans, who while perhaps having personal objections to gay unions, are powerless to stop them because it isn’t in their job description to choose when to do their job. If the Governor would prefer their job be done by computers, I’m sure the technology exists. To the chagrin of Texas conservatives, the rights of the couple now supersede the rights of the state to limit individual rights through strategically placed zealots.
The First Amendment specifies that the state cannot pursue a religious agenda: trying to allow state employees to cherry-pick their responsibilities to voters based on personally held religious beliefs is the legitimate infringement of First Amendment rights that is being perpetrated across our state. And I do not doubt that the Supreme Court would agree.
This milestone is a tremendous advancement to LGBTQ rights. A rising tide does indeed lift all ships. In America, civil rights are not a finite resource; they are not taken from one group in order to be given to another. However, in Texas, it is also true that a person can be fired from their job or denied housing based on their sexual orientation. There are no state protections to prevent this. This is the next front of the fight in Texas. There is more work to be done to ensure the life, liberty, and happiness of all minority Texans, and to drive the darkness of hatred and oppression back into the shadows.
A democracy is a compromise. A government in which the officials are allowed to ignore the law of the land is anarchy; one where religion is enforced through the state is dictatorial. Democracy is the world’s best answer to these problems. It is not perfect, but it is the best. America, as the best example of constitutional democracy, cannot shrink from its duty to enforce the law.