A More Perfect Union

Today, my country is more evolved than yesterday. I am grinning. HAVE YOU HEARD???!!! The U.S. Supreme court ruled today that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, meaning that, in the 12 states which have already legalized gay marriage, married couples of all sexualities will now receive absolutely equal rights under the law. I think this young man’s sign pretty much says it all. By recognizing that love is love, we are working toward achieving a more perfect union. (Plus, Constitutional PUN!)

Click the image for a slideshow of crowd reaction photos

I can’t resist adding one more image. For my non-American friends who have no reason to be up on Texas politics: this issue is a bit more complex. Basically, Wendy Davis is the newest U.S. poster woman for female rights and health.

In order to prevent an incredibly ill-conceived anti-choice bill from passing into law, Wendy volunteered to filibuster for over 12 hours. By doing this, she effectively locked the Texas state Senate down. The clock struck midnight; their session closed. No session = no vote = no discriminatory law.

During this time, Senator Davis was not allowed to sit, lean, take a bathroom break, or pause in speaking for longer than five seconds. Her opponents didn’t even allow her to use her back brace, because it would have provided a measure of physical comfort. She stood anyway, hour after hour.

Today, news media reported that the bill failed to pass. In this battle of endurance and willpower, Wendy proved that one individual can make a difference.

The words shown here with her photograph come from U.S. Senator Todd Akin. Akin (in)famously said that abortion access should be denied to women who are impregnated through rape. He claimed that conception rarely occurs as a result of rape, saying, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing down.”

Well, he was both scientifically and ethically wrong. Seeing his lies re-used in this positive context today makes me want to give Wendy Davis a standing ovation.

Today is a wonderful day in America-Land. I’ll sign off by summarizing my feelings like this:

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20 responses to “A More Perfect Union

  1. You said it all better than I possibly could have. Sometimes, we manage do some things right, and FINALLY the start to some important changes.

    Also, thanks for getting that preamble song from Schoolhouse Rock stuck in my head.

    • “I’m just a bill… not going anywhere because Wendy Davis is so f’in awesome…”

      Although, OF COURSE, Rick Perry has called another special session to start on July 1. Even though bi-partisan polling shows that 80% of Texans oppose the bill. Even though, as the brilliant Wendy Davis said, “”Throughout the debate, not once could the members who were advancing the bill demonstrate that it would create a safer climate for women, or that there was an existing safety problem within the clinical climate today.”

      But hey… she also said she’s willing to filibuster again, as many times as it takes.

  2. What a great day! Having lived through major changes in granting more equality to women and other minorities, it is both refreshing and relieving to see that our voices can still be heard. It has been more than difficult to watch a small group of narrow minded people attempt to turn back the clock and oppress others with their self-centered, self-righteous and judgmental views.

    • Yes. Oppression is exactly what this amounts to. I used to work with many women who had experienced the reality of life before Roe v. Wade. They, like you, were frequently disappointed that something they had fought tooth and nail for (and which had achieved measurably positive results) was *still* open for debate.

  3. I’m thrilled, but I can’t forget that this is the ONE bright spot in what has been an otherwise dismal Supreme Court term. They have done everything they can to harm employees, consumers, and patients. But it’s nice to know that Kennedy didn’t have the guts to stand against history on marriage equality.

    • No argument from me; your point is completely valid. But, given how much there is to shake my head at these days, I really try to celebrate the good stuff. And this? This is GOOD.

  4. I *adore* both Katie and Helena’s responses. Here’s to tenacity and integrity winning out over shame, fear, ignorance, and hate. Sometimes it takes a while, but doing the right thing always wins in the end!

    • P.S. I particularly liked the sign a young man held which read, “If I can’t marry my boyfriend, I’ll marry your daughter.” That should scare ’em enough to legalize gay marriage in every state! 😉

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