"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." - The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence
Those Founding Fathers were damned smart dudes. The wisdom with which they set up our system of government is astonishing. Other governments and forms of government have come and gone, but we have been going strong for 237 years now. We're not always at the top of our game, and none of us are 100% happy with each branch of our government at all times, but that's the nature of the beast. Every 4 years, we have a chance to make ourselves heard and instill change. The system of Checks and Balances? Brilliant! I mean, the balance of power between the three branches of our government truly, in the end, makes our government works better than any other system in the world.
And those wise men knew that times would change. They knew that knowledge and sensibilities would change. That's why the Constitution lays our basic need to "establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." And then they allowed us the means by which to make changes. To define exactly what securing "the blessings of liberty" means to each new generation of Americans.
This week, the Supreme Court made two major and historical rulings regarding the civil rights of gay Americans, ruling the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, and striking down California's Proposition 8. Those of you who have been paying attention around here, know that I am a supporter of gay marriage and a proponent of Proposition 8. You can all about it HERE.
So I was pretty overjoyed by this turn of events. And I truly love that in the end, the decision stepped away from ideology, and religion and partisanship, and came down to a matter of law. I have always been fascinated by the law. Daddy was a lawyer, as were both of my grandfathers and my aunt. I was thiiiiiiiiis close to heading that direction myself, before deciding that I'd rather just play a lawyer on tv. But I've maintained a healthy respect and fascination with legal matters. And I love the fact that the anti-Prop 8 lawyers, David Boies and Theodore Olson were from opposite ends of the political spectrum, but came together over what they mutually considered to be right and legal and according to our constitution.
Jude swims on the West Hollywood swim team. West Hollywood is known as "Boys Town" here in LA, and is the heart of all things LGBT. The other day, I was over there, sitting in the coffee shop next to the pool and park, underneath the West Hollywood library, using their wifi. Little did I know when I headed there that the library's conference room had been set up as a wedding chapel, and the City of West Hollywood was offering marriages that day.
During the hour and a half I sat there, couple after couple passed right in front of me, entering into the conference room all nervous and excited, and leaving with gold rings on their fingers, filled with joy and feeling that finally our country considered them to be created equal, with the rights and privileges of the rest of Americans.
It was an amazing display of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I just couldn't stop smiling and congratulating people. An older gay couple who wore dapper suits, bow ties and boutonnieres. A young lesbian couple clad in shorts and flip flops. A young Hispanic gay couple who had brought their parents as witnesses. I especially identified with a middle-aged lesbian couple, accompanied by their grown children, who couldn't stop laughing and crying when they came out, because the emotions of finally saying "I do" had sent them both into hot flashes.
When one couple stopped in front of me as they were leaving after getting married, one of the men turned to the other and, fishing their parking ticket out of his pocket, asked his now-husband, "Did we get validated?" They looked at each other for a beat, then both started crying and hugged each other tight. They had finally been validated. Validated as human beings.
This all makes me very proud to be an American.
Check out another America spin...
Janice at I Got Nothing - NEW on FRIDAY
Next week on The Spin Cycle...
It's Summertime, and the living is easy. Or at least hot.
What does Summer mean to you? Summer school? Summer Solstice? Summer lovin'? Summer squash?
Write your spin on "Summer". Post it. Tell me. I'll link it.
Come back next Friday for my spin on "Summer" and to find out the next week's spin topic.
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