EDITOR: Today’s ruling by the Washington State Supreme Court, upholding the 1998 Defense of Marriage Act in the State of Washington effectively solidifies, for the time being, a ban on gay and lesbian marriage in this state. I am disgusted, outraged, and appalled at those who stand on their moral and spiritual hilltops and tell me what is right and wrong for me, who codify and dogmatize love and its human and spiritual expression, and assume that the closet I burned down when I flamed out of it ever held worse skeletons than their own. I was unaware that the Constitution of the United States is the lost chapters of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
I and the vast majority of others who love openly as their hearts and souls demand will carry on with life, knowing that love does not require tax cuts or health-care programs to be real. We will simply work harder, grow stronger, and love deeper; WE WILL OVERCOME. It is through the greatest adversity of human history that man and woman have triumphed most gloriously. Like the lotus in mud—the deeper the mud, the more brilliant the bloom.
EDITOR: The supreme court’s ruling against equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples is intellectually dishonest and poorly reasoned. The most infuriating part of the court’s decision states that marriage rights may be withheld from same-sex couples based on procreation, despite the fact that several of the plaintiffs have children and countless others are being raised by gay and lesbian parents. Even worse is that the court suggests we have to win a popularity contest and ask the legislature, many of whom hate us, for equal rights—wow, that’s logical. This ruling shows total indifference toward this state’s citizens, and that our Constitution’s promise of freedom and equality is an empty, hypocritical lie.
STRANGER: I have few illusions about the state of this country. I understand that the nation as a whole hasn’t reached a level of tolerance and open-mindedness to embrace same-sex marriage outright. While I’ve felt in recent years that the collective was moving in the right direction, I had no doubt that the road left to travel would be long and arduous. It was always my belief that urban centers would be at the forefront, helping to bring national consciousness closer and closer to acceptance.
But when the progressive corners of the nation fail to lead the way, I start to doubt if we will ever near the lofty standards that this nation has long sought to meet. How can we hope to ensure gay rights everywhere if we cannot guarantee them here?
It’s not going too far to say that until the LGBT community can enjoy the rights afforded other Americans, this country will fail to live up to the ideals on which it was presumably founded. Politicians on both sides continue to preach the importance of democracy throughout the globe. It’s a laughably hollow sentiment when democratic freedoms are applied selectively within our borders.
EDITOR: I’m very concerned with how the Republicans have apparently adopted anti-gay legislation as the meat and potatoes of their platform. Not only do I believe that they are attempting to justify their revulsion toward homosexuality by creating legislation against it, I am particularly insulted by their attempts to hide it with positive-sounding names—such as “The Defense of Marriage Act” to describe legislation that forbids the union (i.e.,marriage) of two lovers into a state-recognized relationship. I feel like an act by that name, rather than discriminating against a marginal percentage of the population, should instead be an effort to actually defend marriage. I see the most notable threat to marriage to be divorce. Perhaps a nice piece of legislation providing discounted counseling to married couples having problems, or free counseling to couples about to enter into a marriage. Now that is an act that I believe would be aptly named. This Defense of Marriage Act would certainly hold bipartisan support in both houses. Since the Republicans truly are so dedicated to defending the institution of marriage, they should be concerned that the highest divorce rates occur in red states. Oddly enough, blue states have the lowest divorce rates. The state with the lowest? Why, that would be Massachusetts, the only state to allow gay marriage, of course.
EDITOR: This morning was supposed to be the start of something new for the State of Washington. I am appalled by the decision passed down by the Washington State Supreme Court this morning. I am an openly gay man and I am now feeling more than ever that this state is based in discrimination. This country was supposed to represent equality for everyone. They talk about equality for all but the gay community still has to fight discrimination and persecution in trying to be equal. Listening to how close the vote was this morning—a 5-4 vote for keeping the ban in place—shows we will have to be delayed yet again in our struggle for equality. This is a great injustice and an outrage. When will the State of Washington and the United States wake up? This isn’t something that can just keep being swept under the rug. We are out here and we are loud and proud, we will not go quietly into the night.