John M. Becker

Create Your Own Marriage Equality Ruling!

Filed By John M. Becker | July 01, 2014 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Marriage Equality
Tags: court ruling, federal judge, gay marriage, Mark Joseph Stern, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, Slate

slate-marriage-ruling-generator.jpgMarriage discrimination is falling out of style, and quickly -- lately it seems like every week (at least!) some federal judge somewhere in America strikes down a state law banning same-sex marriage.

Case in point: today's pro-equality federal court ruling out of Kentucky.

The language in many of these pro-marriage equality court decisions has been quite beautiful. MSNBC's Adam Serwer writes that judges seem to be "competing [among themselves] to write the most memorable ruling," and UCLA law professor Adam Winkler agrees:

"With court after court striking down marriage bans, merely voiding another state's discriminatory law isn't enough. The real reason for these flourishes, I believe, is that judges in the marriage cases know they are writing for history. There's a long tradition of judges taking a different tone when they expect their opinions to be historically significant."

Now, thanks to my friend Mark Joseph Stern over at Slate, you have a chance to play federal judge and create your own marriage equality ruling. Just answer four stylistic questions, and Slate's freedom-to-marry opinion generator will patch together sentences from real court decisions and generate a custom ruling just for you.

Click here to check it out.

Here's my ruling:

Where will this all lead? I know that many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other ... and rise.

The ban on same-sex marriage demeans gay couples, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects. And it humiliates the children raised by same-sex couples. Under this law, same-sex couples have their lives burdened, by reason of government decree, in visible and public ways. By its great reach, the law touches many aspects of married and family life, from the mundane to the profound.

Even today I am reminded of the legacy that we have bequeathed today's generation when my son looks dismissively at the sweater I bought him for Christmas, and, with a roll of his eyes, says "Dad ... that is so gay."

We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.

What's yours?


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