Of the powers that are reserved for the states, marriage seems a reasonable one, until/unless you consider whether the ability to marry as one chooses is a comment on the humanity of some classes of people vs. other classes of people. In which case, it seems absurd (ethically, if not legally) because of the implication that some people are only fully human or fully citizens in some states. Then it just sort of makes me apoplectic.
Meanwhile, watching Obama’s contortions on this (which have been frustrating, but very, very deft, and I do approve) is fascinating. And is making March and this summer all the more terrifying because the stakes and the scale keep seeming to expand.
A while ago someone sent me email and said, “What was it like hearing Stonewall” mentioned in the inaugural. I still owe her a response, but the short answer is that I don’t know. For there was a roaring in my ears, and the need to sit down, and an inability to understand its meaning. I imagine it will be 100 times worse when all this Supreme Court stuff happens, no matter which way any of the cases fall. I actually worry about how to be the day the decisions come out. Maybe I should stay home, lest I faint or cry, or, maybe all the gods forbid, find it necessary to experience despair in public.
For the many lawyers that follow me, the above paragraphs likely seem some combination of irrelevant, inaccurate, and hyperbolic, which is the necessary nature of your professional functions.
But in college my student LGBT group passed out little maps with the sodomy laws (this was over a decade before Lawrence v. Texas), and we kept them in our wallets as everything from a challenge to a dirty joke to a constant reminder that in the eyes of the law we were not, and perhaps would never be, people. I think everyone I knew for years could, without pausing to think, tell you exactly how many states they had broken sodomy laws in. That we often chatted about this like the weather, only seems peculiar in retrospect.