An historic Day

Today is a true historic day! A moment when you can feel the chains of bondage breaking. The Supreme Court has ruled that Doma, the Defense of Marriage Act is dead. The Gay and Lesbian married couples cannot be denied federal rights and benefits. And Proposition 8, the hateful ballot proposition in California that went into affect in November 2008 taking away the right to marry is also history. The court ruled that the people who sponsored Prop 8 who took the case to court when the State of California Governor and Attorney General refused to sponsor the court case, had no standing to do so. Thus Prop 8 which was declared void and unconstitutional by a lower court ruling is just that unconstitutional.

While the Supreme Court avoided ruling on a sweeping marriage equality platform across the United States, the ruling means that now in 13 states (including CA) and the District of Columbia where marriage is legal, the Feds must recognize that marriage in the over 1138 rights and benefits and privileges at the Federal level.

The marriage equality fight isn’t over in the United States. There are many places where gay men and lesbians cannot legally wed. And there are 33 states in the US where you can still be fired for being gay! That is why it is time for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to pass the House and Senate. The marriage equality and adoption rights must still be fought state by state.

We aren’t full citizens yet. But today for sure… a little more.

I am grateful to God for this day. A day of blessing for sure. A day where we feel God’s justice showering down upon us and encouraging each of to continue the work of Tikkun Olam-repairing a broken world.

Waiting for the Supreme Court

Please read this Psalm as written by Rabbi Eleanor Steinman in her capacity as Executive Director of California Faith for Equality.   This is a wonderful Psalm for waiting for a decision on the Supreme Court rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA.  Prayer can be helpful. I urge you to add this to your daily meditation and prayer life. And by the way make a donation to CFE, California Faith for Equality for all the work they are doing to educate and change hearts and minds in the interfaith religious world on LGBTQI issues!   Donate here.

 

Pictures from DC

Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Rev. Candy Holmes and Rabbi Eger
Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Rev. Candy Holmes and Rabbi Eger
The rally on Tuesday (Prop 8 day)
The rally on Tuesday (Prop 8 day)
Michael Toumayan (HRC) and I in the Green Room
Michael Toumayan (HRC) and I in the Green Room
Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer (UCC) and I
Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer (UCC) and I
Me and Bishop Gene Robinson, IX Bishop of New Hampshire
Me and Bishop Gene Robinson, IX Bishop of New Hampshire
DSC_0156
Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens spoke before I did
I was so happy to see my good friend and colleague Dr. Sharon Groves from HRC across the crowd!
I was so happy to see my good friend and colleague Dr. Sharon Groves from HRC across the crowd!
Speaking at the rally!
Speaking at the rally!
Me, Rev. Rebecca Voelkel (NGLTF) and her daughter, Shannon, the afikomen finder at the Seder!
Me, Rev. Rebecca Voelkel (NGLTF) and her daughter, Shannon, the afikomen finder at the Seder!
Lots of people in front of the Supreme Court (note that the building is being renovated so there is a false facade)
Lots of people in front of the Supreme Court (note that the building is being renovated so there is a false facade)

If you haven’t seen my remarks, you can watch a video here.

Rally at the Supreme Court

Click on the link below to see the video and hear my speech at today’s rally at the Supreme Court as the oral arguments in the California Prop 8 case was heard. It was amazing to speak to the crowd on a cold,crisp morning. Earlier in the day I participated in a powerful interface service.

Here is The link with thanks to Jeremy Gimbel.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=xg2CWhGRzCo&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dxg2CWhGRzCo

From Ganut l’Shevach: reflections on Passover and the Supreme Court

Read my latest blog post on Reform Judaism’s blog.

http://www.reformjudaism.org/blog/2013/03/24/marriage-equality-and-passover-degradation-praise

Happy Passover and Chag Sameach

The Supremes Take the Cases!

Today the Supreme Court said they would take the Prop 8 case and the Windsor DOMA Case! A decision will come this June one way or the other.  This is an important day for civil rights and human rights in our country.   This isn’t just about whether gay men and lesbians can legally marry their partners.  But there are a host of issues entwined in these cases.  In the Windsor DOMA Case, the Republican House members are defending the Defense of Marriage Act because the Administration agrees with the Federal Circuit Ruling that Section 3 of DOMA that prevents legally married same sex couples from inheritance without taxation is unconstitutional.

Our Speaker of the House decided with other House Republicans to fight to preserve DOMA.  At the Supreme Court hearing on this is not only whether or not DOMA is constitutional or unconstitutional but also an issue of “standing”. This means whether or not the House Republicans can defend DOMA if the Executive Branch (i.e. the Justice Department is unwilling because they agree with the Federal Ruling that it is unconstitutional!

A similar issue is at stake in the California Prop 8 case.  This is not only whether or not Prop 8 violates the equal protection clause since marriage was granted in California and then taken away by ballot initiative but who has the standing to bring the case.  Again the governor and attorney general of the State of California agreed with the District court that Prop 8 was unconstitutional and violated the equal protection clause.  Thus the case was appealed by various anti-marriage groups.  The Supreme Court will also hear whether or not they have the standing to even be a part of the case.

So put on your seat belts.  Get ready to witness one of the great Supreme Court cases in American history.

Keep working for equality on the ground and help more states pass marriage equality legislation and propositions.  Hawaii and Illinois, Rhode Island and Delaware, and Oregon are likely next targets.  Anyone game for a trip Portland?