Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

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.

Romano: Supreme Court ruling affirms American principles 06/26/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 10:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Five ideas for cool summer snacks


    The 90-degree temperatures are not letting up anytime soon. We Floridians know to keep some cold treats on hand through September. Ice cream. Lemonade. Ice pops. Whether you're packing a beach cooler or preparing for a pool party, we've got you covered. Level up your summer snack game with these five refreshing …

    What’s not to like about a homemade ice cream sandwich? The thin chocolate cake bakes in about 10 to 12 minutes, and from there it’s all chilling out.
  2. U.S. Pacific commander: Remains of sailors found on USS John McCain


    SINGAPORE — The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet says a number of remains of Navy sailors were found in a compartment of the USS John McCain, a day after the warship's collision with an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters left 10 sailors missing.

    The damaged port aft hull of USS John S. McCain, left, is seen while docked next to USS America at Singapore's Changi naval base on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 in Singapore. The focus of the search for 10 U.S. sailors missing after a collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters shifted Tuesday to the damaged destroyer's flooded compartments. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida education news: Solar eclipse, gender gap, new schools and more


    TOTAL ECLIPSE: More than 8,000 Hernando County students skip school after their school district gives them excused absences for the day. Students who …

    Students at Bayonet Point Middle School observe the solar eclipse Monday through their special eclipse glasses.
  4. Epilogue: Martin Giles a man of few, but strong, words for WFLA-AM 970


    As the story goes, his higher-ups at the Misawa Air Base in Japan were clear with their edict to Martin Giles: It was only the mid-1950s, not far enough away from World War II for the Japanese to be trusted.

    Martin Giles, a longtime radio news anchor for WFLA-AM 970, died last week at the age of 80.