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Monday, September 25, 2017

On the Freedom to Marry - Part III

The Declaration of Independence (adopted in Congress on 4 July, 1776) states, that all people are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, such as: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The Declaration states in its preamble that the purpose of the American legal code is to form “a more perfect union…to establish justice…and to ensure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”

The perfection of our union demands, that the establishment of justice be moved to extend the full franchise of citizenship to all Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation, or whatever it is about them that the majority does not like.

The perfection of justice demand that all of our fellow citizens be free, and be able to live out their lives in pursuit of their happiness.

To take up the pen and fight for these truths, to fight for the recognition of truth, and the equal application of these principles in the lives of all people, is the essence of what it means to be an American, or a citizen of good conscience of any nation, anywhere in the world.

To place limits on who is protected by the Constitution, to curtail the rights of individual citizens or groups, to deprive them of life or the richness of married life, to rob them of their liberty-the liberty to choose their own spouse, to censure their happiness by denying them the right of self determination, simply because they have a different sexual orientation than those in the majority, that is to argue for the establish a classist society, of the type that we Americans rejected long ago, which we rejected in principle when our founders wrote those charter documents.

I was raised in an inter-racial family.

My European-American mother was born in 1940 and spent part of her youth in the segregated South.
She remembers the era of Jim Crow, which both shames me and pains me to imagine.

In America, not very long ago, my European-American mother and my African-American stepfather would have been denied the freedom to marry one another due to the fact that they are not of the same “race” (an arbitrary classification).

If that had been the case, my younger brother would not have had the benefit of growing up in a household with married parents. I would not have had the benefit of seeing my mother’s relationship with my stepfather legitimized by society. A marriage license would not have been granted to them. Even if they could have found a minister, a rabbi, a pastor or a priest to perform a wedding service, their union would not have been recognized by the state.

That would have been reprehensible, morally objectionable, and a crime against humanity.