Kept in the Closet

Bill Neinast

Some bigots, including many who don white sheets and hoods to circle around the burning cross symbol of their religion, are livid.   The Supreme Court had fiddled with the definition of marriage.  This, somehow, will affect their marriages and obligate them to see couples in public that they think should not be called married.

This, though, is old news.  It goes back almost a half century to 1967.  That is when SCOTUS, in the case of Loving v. Virginia, declared miscegenation laws unconstitutional. 

Imagine that.  Individuals could now marry members of other races.  Those KKK members would have to look at a married black man and white woman moving in next door to them.  

How could a bunch of appointed judges require some to violate their religious beliefs in such a fashion? This nagging question hung on for 33 years until Alabama, the last hold out, repealed its miscegenation law in 2000.  Even then, there were over 529,000 votes against the repeal.

This, though, was not the first time the court had looked at marriage. In 1878 a unanimous SCOTUS declared in Reynolds v. United States that polygamy was not protected by the Constitution.  This struck down a core belief of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Unlike the KKK of the last century, the Mormons of the preceding century accepted the edict of SCOTUS, dropped plural marriages, and established the state of Utah.

So here we are in the 21st Century.   SCOTUS has, once again, ruled on marriage.  Similar to their language on mixed race marriages, the justices said marriages between individuals of the same sex cannot be prohibited.

The protesters of that opinion are not wearing white robes.  They are cloaking themselves, instead,  in the parchments of their religion, and claiming that the court cannot redefine marriage and require them to accept or serve something they think violates their religion.

Those protesters should do a little research. They can start by reading the cases mentioned above.  Then they could move into a study of the authority of the Supreme Court and the effects of its rulings.

Next would be a revisit of the Bible.  Some of them might be surprised to find that Christians are supposed to obey the law.  They should read passages like, "submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience." (Romans 13:5)

They need to be reminded also that,  “authorities that exist have been established by God" (Romans 13:1) and to "submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right." (1 Peter 2:13,14).

A little study and reflection might also surprise them about sexuality.  Some might wake up to the realization that people are born with different skin colors, different intelligence levels, different athletic and artistic abilities, and too many other differences to be listed in the allotted space for this article.

Then they will have to come to grips with intersex, a variation in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, or genitals that do not allow an individual to be distinctly identified as male or female.  There is a medical consensus that diverse intersex bodies are normal forms of human biology.

So here’s the perspective.

The definition of marriage is not sacrosanct.     It has been changed at least three times by the Supreme Court.

Just as there are more than two sexes, the court recognized that there is more than one sexual preference.  Thus, it is unconstitutional to deny a homosexual the right to marry the one he or she loves.

Those protesting same sex marriage the loudest may be surprised some day to learn that some of their acquaintances were born with a natural same-sex sexual preference but were “kept in the closet” and denied their basic rights.

Hope that this realization and acceptance is not too far down the road.  


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