Reversing the Moral Disapproval of Gays


“Being treated unequally really scars your soul,
and it makes a real practical difference in people’s lives.”
Mary Bonauto


A lawyer who successfully fought to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at a federal appeals court, Bonauto recounts on The Rachel Maddow Show the widespread discrimination of this statute toward those in same-sex marriages: “Our national government was saying that their marriages didn’t count. They were actually wiped out for all federal purposes, all 1100 of them.”

Bonauto is right. Among many other injuries, DOMA taxes the inheritance of widows and widowers as ‘legal strangers’ rather than spouses; federal workers, including those in the military, are unable to obtain federal benefits for their spouses and children; and many Americans who marry a foreigner whose visa expires must decide to move overseas to keep their families intact.

This discrimination against same-sex spouses was enacted because, as Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan recited in session yesterday from the House Judiciary Committee record in 1996, the Congress was honoring a “collective moral judgment” and expressing “moral disapproval of homosexuality.”

For the majority of our nation’s existence, African Americans and women were dubbed inferior and received righteous indignation for asserting that they too should have equal rights. It is not surprising that gays would be subjected to similar discrimination by law and custom.

Fortunately, many people are changing their minds as their relatives and friends come out of the closet. In recent national polls, those approving of same-sex marriage are now in the majority.

My take: The Church should oppose this collective moral judgment and, instead, be a strong advocate for equal rights for gays.

Rev. Rix welcomes comments at Quoflections@gmail.com. © 2013 Harry Rix. All rights reserved.

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