The last time the sanctity of marriage was debated

So same-sex marriage is now the law of the land. And though most of the reaction is favorable, there’s still this:

All the GOP hopefuls noted their personal objection to same-sex marriage and their belief that marriage should be left to the states. But while some firebrands — led by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — issued strong statements urging conservatives to fight, others, such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, issued more muted statements.

The different reactions underscore the tough challenge facing Republican candidates in a deep field; namely, how to appeal to a conservative base that strongly opposes same-sex marriage without alienating a general-election audience that largely supports it.

Legality doesn’t immediately translate to acceptance. And acceptance is going to take a while. Don’t forget, we’ve done this before:

500px-US_miscegenation.svg

U.S States, by the date of repeal of anti-miscegenation laws:
Gray: No laws passed
Green: Repealed before 1887
Yellow: Repealed from 1948 to 1967
Red: Overturned on 12 June 1967

Anti-miscegenation laws: If you’re one race, you can’t marry someone of another race.

Mixed-race marriages used to be against the law. On June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court changed that in its Loving v. Virginia, ruling, which came after a white man and black woman who married in Washington, D.C., were arrested after they returned home to Virginia.

That Supreme Court decision was unanimous, but unanimity didn’t equate with approval:

bb8ic2qate-wa_cbgc2ifg

In 1967, when the Supreme Court issued its ruling, fewer than 20 percent of Americans approved of interracial marriage.

The majority of Americans not only disapproved, they also were spiteful in their rejection of the concept:

Anti-Miscegenation

Now we come to 2015. This past April, a poll was taken on same-sex marriage, and this was the result:

A record-high 6 in 10 Americans support same-sex marriage and a similar share say individual states should not be allowed to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

So look at it this way: Although the Supreme Court ruled this past week in favor of same sex marriage in a narrow 5-4 vote, Americans approval of such unions is above 60 percent. When the Supreme Court ruled unanimously for mixed race marriages in 1967, the approval rating for such unions didn’t reach 60 percent until 1997, 30 years later.

Same sex marriage today is in a much stronger position despite its weaker court majority.

Hope and change 2015

Remember back in 2008, when Barack Obama won the presidency because he ran on a platform of hope and change? And remember how pissed of his supporters were after a few years because change didn’t happen immediately.

But today:

The Supreme Court on Friday delivered a historic victory for gay rights, ruling 5 to 4 that the Constitution requires that same-sex couples be allowed to marry no matter where they live and that states may no longer reserve the right only for heterosexual couples.

And yesterday:

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a key part of the Affordable Care Act that provides health insurance subsidies to all qualifying Americans, awarding a major victory to President Obama and validating his most prized domestic achievement.

And this week:

After decades of bitter debate over whether the Confederate battle flag is a proud symbol of regional heritage or a shameful emblem of this nation’s most grievous sins, the argument may finally be moving toward an end.

South Carolina is leading the way for other states, as it considers removing the flag from its capitol grounds in the wake of a horrific racial hate crime.

Since Obama has taken office, we’ve extricated ourselves from two wars promoted by the previous president. The legalization of marijuana is taking place throughout the country and people are really getting pissed off that law enforcement tends to be more severe with certain races and ethnic groups than others.

This is fundamental change, and for some people, this is the most significant change they’ve seen in their lifetimes. But we see that change isn’t immediate. It takes a lot of hard work, and it faces virulent opposition. But it does happen. And once it does, it’s our responsibility as citizens to realize that just because we win one round, we then don’t just pack up our posters and say, “Well, I’m done. I got mine.”

We are making advances every day. This week, the liberals win. Don’t think the conservatives won’t counter with even more rabid condemnations of the Black-Marxist-Nazi-Kenyan usurper.

We are approaching a presidential election year. The battle lines are drawn. How far to the right will the Republicans go? Because the Democrats don’t have to move an inch.

Defending an indefensible thing

When I lived in England, there were surveillance cameras all over London. Probably on every city block. The Brits just considered it part of their everyday existence. Americans, of course, go nuts at the thought of surveillance cameras intruding on their personal privacy. Even when they’re out in public.

I’m in the minority on that. I say put cameras everywhere. Especially because of this:

TMW-2015-06-17color

Yes, the indefensible thing happens a lot. I’ve noted that more than once here. But a couple of days ago, this happened within walking distance of my home:

Community members and activists are questioning a Louisville Metro Police officer’s use of deadly force against an African man in Old Louisville on Saturday afternoon.

But Police Chief Steve Conrad said the man, who he said was thought to be an African man in his mid-30s, was shot twice in self-defense after he allegedly picked up a metal flag pole and swung at the officer outside a convenience store at Fourth and Oak streets.

The officer confronted the man after responding to a call about an assault on a woman in the area, and the man had a brief conversation with the officer before walking away, Conrad said.

The man then picked up a metal flag pole in front of the store and swung at the officer, he said.

Some say the cop should have tried to restrain the guy. Others say there was no threat and that the shooting was indefensible.

But what would we say if there was a video? (The following is graphic.)

At 3:44, you see a guy walk against the traffic light, forcing a car to stop. You see the police car on the corner. When the light changes, you see the cop stop and get out to talk to the guy. Just talk.

What you don’t see and most likely what the cop didn’t know, is that several minutes earlier, the guy had crossed a street, grabbed a woman’s purse and punched her in the face a couple of times when she wouldn’t let go. She had never seen him before.There’s no video on that, but a man intervened and called police. The woman was treated by paramedics at the scene.

And even with that, the video shows you can’t trust an “eyewitness.” One person at the scene of the shooting said the cop had his hand on his gun when he stopped the guy (No, he didn’t.), and that the cop could have used mace or a stun gun instead. (No. The attack was quick and there was no time to consider the options.)

This is not an instance of a cop shooting a guy in the back who’s running away. This is not an instance of an out of control cop losing his shit at a pool party. This is not an instance of an arrested suspect getting his spinal cord severed in the back of a police transport vehicle.

There is no “allegedly picked up a metal flag pole and swung at the officer.” There is no reason for community outrage.

A white cop shot a black guy on a Saturday afternoon in Louisville. You see the video. If you were the cop, what would you have done?

And that’s why we need surveillance cameras. To catch cops when they’re wrong, and to defend cops when they’re right.

Enough with Deflategate

This New England Patriots scandal is irrelevant:

It’s that shiny object that shows up to distract us from things that matter. And in the whole cosmic scheme of things, everything matters more than this does.

OK, so the Patriots deflated their balls and it’s illegal.

So why does the NFL let teams supply their own balls? If it’s such a big deal, shouldn’t the league be in charge of the balls?

OK, so the Patriots have cheated in the past.

So why did the NFL punishment for those incidents have all the impact of a mosquito biting a sperm whale? The Pats still make the playoffs and still end up in the Super Bowl.

OK, so the cheating in a playoff game allowed them to get into the most recent Super Bowl.

So if that’s the case, strip the Patriots of their Super Bowl title. If the NFL isn’t going to do that, shut up already! As far as the league is concerned, it pays to be a cheat (and a wife beater, and a.

And Deflategate is a stupid name. The -gate suffix is now a cliche. Call it something daring, like “Ballbusting.”

NY-Daily-News-Deflategate

At least the New York tabloids know what to call it.

Our family values story for the day

From the Chattanooga Times Free Press:

The Tennessee Republican congressman who supported his ex-wife’s decision to get two abortions was among those who voted in favor of a ban on most late-term abortions.

Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais, a Jasper physician, was one of 242 House members who voted Wednesday to pass the bill, which forbids most abortions starting with the 20th week of pregnancy.

“Congressman DesJarlais was proud to vote in favor of this legislation,” said his spokesman Robert Jameson, who added that DesJarlais has maintained a “100 percent pro-life voting record” during his five years in Congress and “has always advocated for pro-life values.”

DesJarlais’ support of his ex-wife’s abortions, which occurred before their 1995 marriage, was revealed after his 2012 re-election to Congress in a divorce trial transcript. The transcript also showed the physician had engaged in multiple affairs with patients, and pressured one of them to get an abortion after she told him she was pregnant. The outcome of that pregnancy is unknown.

People complain about government malfunction in Washington, but they keep electing hypocrites like this. The problem isn’t in Washington, it’s with the voters sending these kinds of people to Washington.