Topic Tuesday #96 2014/05/20 "Rehashing Equality, & Everything Else..."

Topic Tuesday #96 2014/05/20 "Rehashing Equality, & Everything Else..."

Topic Tuesday is my weekly essay on something. Somedays, I don’t know what to write, while other times, I could write about nothing else than what is on my mind. As you may or may not know, I started podcasting 6 weeks ago at This has taken some of the wind out of my sails as I try to not have too much overlap, and certainly try to keep it fresh week to week. My attention span has been divided and amplified into an odd news cycle that, is sometimes simply untenable. When the only newsworthy stories are rehashed over and over ad nauseam, I hesitate to do the same. At the same time, I realize that while the attention span of the average human has diminished terribly, mine has not. If I am interested in something, I feel the need to continue with it until I reach a saturation point or am driven to distraction by something else.

So here we are, about to have many of the same topics, rehashed and revisited, as needed.

Yesterday, Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage fell. Today, Pennsylvania also fell.

I will list the opinions of the judges in their judgements, as they are awesome.

Oregon - Geiger v. Kitzhaber & Rummell v. Kitzhaber:

Expanding the embrace of civil marriage to gay and lesbian couples will not burden any legitimate state interest… The state's marriage laws unjustifiably treat same-gender couples differently than opposite-gender couples. The laws assess a couple's fitness for civil marriage based on their sexual orientation: opposite-gender couples pass; same-gender couples do not. No legitimate state purpose justifies the preclusion of gay and lesbian couples from civil marriage.
“At the core of the Equal Protection Clause, however, there exists a foundational belief that certain rights should be shielded from the barking crowds; that certain rights are subject to ownership by all and not the stake hold of popular trend or shifting majorities...”

“My decision will not be the final word on this subject, but on this issue of marriage I am struck more by our similarities than our differences. I believe that if we can look for a moment past gender and sexuality, we can see in these plaintiffs nothing more or less than our own families. Families who we would expect our Constitution to protect, if not exalt, in equal measure. With discernment we see not shadows lurking in closets or the stereotypes of what was once believed; rather, we see families committed to the common purpose of love, devotion, and service to the greater community.

"Where will this all lead? I know that many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other ... and rise.” - U.S. District Judge Michael McShane


Pennsylvania - Whitewood v. Wolf:

“We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.- U.S. District Judge John E. Jones, III



For more on the state of the states with marriage issues:

I’ll be back next week, and you can catch me live Friday’s at around 9pm eastern.