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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:54 PM

George Takei: A defeat for DOMA — and the end of ‘ick’

By George Takei,

Forty-four years nearly to the day after drag queens stood their ground against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, sparking rioting in New York City and marking the beginning of America’s gay rights movement, our nation’s highest court at last held that a key section of the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. Amazingly, since Stonewall, the question of LGBT rights has evolved from whether homosexuals should have any place in our society to whether gay and lesbian couples should be accorded equal marital stature.

Whenever one group discriminates against another — keeping its members out of a club, a public facility or an institution — it often boils down to a visceral, negative response to something unfamiliar. I call this the “ick.” Indeed, the “ick” is often at the base of the politics of exclusion. Just this March, for example, a young woman at an anti-same-sex-marriage rally in Washington was asked to write down, in her own words, why she was there. Her answer: “I can’t see myself being with a woman. Eww.”

Frankly, as a gay man, I can’t see myself being with one, either. But it’s usually not gays who write the laws. If this woman were in Congress, her personal discomfort might infect her thinking — and her lawmaking. Gays kissing?Ick.

The Supreme Court may be the ultimate interpreter of the rules, but it is still the court of public opinion that matters. And public opinion has shifted — 51 percent of Americans now favor same-sex marriage, according to a recent Pew Research Center poll, and 42 percent oppose it. Reflecting this slim majority, Wednesday’s 5 to 4 ruling made clear that “ick” is not a proper basis for constitutional jurisprudence. Justice Anthony Kennedy, in his opinion, warned against this specifically, noting that when “determining whether a law is motived by an improper animus . . . ‘discriminations of an unusual character’ especially require careful consideration.” Kennedy was not prepared to allow the “ick” to remain law, knowing that the result is often embarrassing when judged by history.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-takei-a-defeat-for-doma--and-the-end-of-ick/2013/06/27/d3c986dc-dd10-11e2-9218-bc2ac7cd44e2_story.html

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Reply George Takei: A defeat for DOMA — and the end of ‘ick’ (Original post)
n2doc Jun 2013 OP
Ohio Joe Jun 2013 #1

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Jun 27, 2013, 04:11 PM

1. K&R - nt

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