As someone who spent way too long studying the Constitution while Buttons modded Quake levels, I feel the need to comment on today’s Court decision in Obergefell.
This opinion…..it’s….. I mean, so often, people look at who won, which is natural. Especially when who won directly affects so many people so immediately. Fine, good. That’s what we do. But even when that happens, and there are headlines, 98% of a decision isn’t who won, it’s how. There could have been many narrow hows here. The good guys could have won in a way that granted marriage rights and that’s that. But that’s NOT what happened. This was the broadest, biggest, most earth shattering how that could have possibly happened, so big I’m stunned that the other four judges WHO VOTED WITH IT concurred with the opinion without saying “Ok, gay marriage, good, but as how Kennedy’s lost his damn mind.”
Kennedy has been waiting to drop an atom bomb on The Fourteenth Amendment that spreads fallout on everyone, for everything, for things we cannot even know, for years. He finally, FINALLY got to drop it.
Kennedy did not say that the Fourteenth offers equal protection under the law. He said it grants equal dignity. GRANTS equal DIGNITY. Not protects: GRANTS. He changed, in two sentences, the Fourteenth Amendment, the cornerstone of civil rights, from a shield to a sword. For all of us. ALL of our dignity.
The results of this are not just about who marries who. The fallout from this bomb will be raining down 200 years from now, maybe beyond. That’s not hyperbole. There is no way to know how many rights were given to Americans with this decision. But I guarantee, the number can’t be underestimated. Certainly more than gay marriage.
I envy our children. And theirs. And theirs. They’ll get to see what the real results of today are.
Today’s that big.