Thursday, May 24, 2018
Politics

Romano: Supreme Court ruling affirms American principles

My world is no different today. Chances are, neither is yours.

A Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act did not weaken, twist, pervert or otherwise change what marriage means for the great majority of couples in this country.

All it did was affirm some of our greatest principles.

The Supreme Court ruled that if same-sex couples are legally wed by the laws of their state, then the federal government should treat them with equal consideration.

Sounds logical. Sounds fair.

Mostly, it sounds American.

And shouldn't that have been the argument all along?

Instead of apocalyptical fantasies of how same-sex weddings would somehow weaken a country or devalue traditional marriage, this was always an issue of liberty and fair play.

If we are free to live and work where we please, if we are free to speak our minds and protest in the streets, if we are free to own weapons and stand our ground, then shouldn't we be free to love and marry whomever we choose?

And isn't it anti-American to suggest otherwise?

The irony is that this highly anticipated Supreme Court ruling will have virtually no impact on most of the country. It's not going to make my marriage any weaker or stronger. It's not going to change how I feel about my wife, and I suspect it won't change how she feels about me.

The truth is thousands of marriages dissolve every day for any number of reasons. Finances. Infidelity. Abuse. Children. Boredom. I just have a difficult time believing that a lot of marriages fall apart because some gay couple got married across town.

So what is the real impact of this ruling?

What is threatened by this judicial activism?

Well, discrimination is now at risk. So is inequality. Probably intolerance, too.

Otherwise, the Supreme Court's decision simply makes life a little easier and fuller for same-sex couples. It makes filing a joint tax return a possibility. It makes inheritance issues less of a hassle. In certain states, it puts same-sex couples on equal footing with everyone else.

When you look at it that way, the length of this journey seems incredible in retrospect. And it makes the fact that Florida still does not recognize same-sex marriages seem absurd.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting everyone should be required to sport rainbow bumper stickers or attend pride parades. If your heart — or religious belief — says gay marriage is immoral, then you have every right to feel that way. You are entitled to express your views and to ignore the views of others.

But your rights end when they begin to trample on the rights of someone else.

And for far too long, that has been the case when it comes to same-sex marriage.

It was never an issue of public safety or national defense or economic stability. It was simply one side discriminating against another because it had numbers on its side.

Well, those numbers have been rapidly changing in recent years. Many of the same voters and politicians willing to support the Defense of Marriage Act in the 1990s are now realizing it does not mesh with the values this country was built on.

They, like the Supreme Court, understand the true impact of Wednesday's ruling.

It doesn't threaten marriage.

It demonstrates freedom.

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